Formia

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Formia
Comune
Comune di Formia
Remains of the ancient Roman port in the Gianola park.
Remains of the ancient Roman port in the Gianola park.
Coat of arms of Formia
Coat of arms
Formia is located in Italy
Formia
Formia
Location of Formia in Italy
Coordinates: 41°16′N 13°37′E / 41.267°N 13.617°E / 41.267; 13.617
Country Italy
Region Lazio
Province Latina (LT)
Frazioni Marànola, Trivio, Castellonorato, Penitro
Government
 • Mayor Sandro Bartolomeo
Area
 • Total 73 km2 (28 sq mi)
Elevation 19 m (62 ft)
Population (9 October 2011)
 • Total 36,331
 • Density 500/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
Demonym Formiani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 04023
Dialing code 0771
Patron saint St. Erasmus and St. John
Saint day June 2 and June 24
Website Official website

Formia is a city and comune in the province of Latina, on the Mediterranean coast of Lazio (Italy). It is located halfway between Rome and Naples, and lies on the Roman-era Appian Way.

History[edit]

Formiae (modern day Formia) was founded by ancient Romans, the name deriving from the Greek Ὁρμίαι hormiai, meaning "landing place". It was a renowned resort during the imperial era.

The octagonal tower of Castellone.

Cicero was assassinated on the Appian Way outside the town in 43 BC, and his tomb remains a minor tourist destination. The city was also the seat of St. Erasmus's martyrdom, by being disemboweled around 303 AD, during the persecutions of Diocletian. St. Erasmus later also became known as Saint Elmo the patron saint of sailors.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire the city was sacked by barbarians and the population moved to two distinct burghs on the nearby hill, which were under the rule of Gaeta. Charles II of Anjou built a fortress in the maritime burgh, Mola di Gaeta. The other burgh was known as Castellone, from the castle erected there in the mid-14th century by Onorato I Caetani, count of Fondi.

The two villages were united again in 1863 under the name of Formia. The reunited city was badly damaged in 1943-1944 in bombing operations and the Battle of Anzio.

Main sights[edit]

The most famous monument of Formia is the mausoleum traditionally identified with the Tomb of Cicero: it is a 24 m-high tower on the old Appian Way, enclosed in a large (83x68 m) funerary precinct.

Other sights include:

  • Tower of Castellone
  • Roman cistern, one of the world's largest. Similar to the structures in Constantinople and in the Domitian's villa of Albano, it dates from the 1st century BC.
  • Remains of the Villa of Mamurra, partly destroyed in 1943, and of Roman aqueducts and cryptoportici.
  • Church of San Giovanni Battista e Lorenzo, known from 841. It was almost entirely destroyed during World War II. It houses a panel by Antoniazzo Romano (c. 1490)
  • Church of San Luca, known from the 15th century. It has a recently discovered crypt with frescoes of Episodes of the New Testament and Madonna del Latte.
  • Renaissance monastery and church of Sant'Erasmo. It was erected on the alleged site of the saint's martyrdom.
  • Archaeological Museum.
  • Regional Park of Gianola and Mount of Scauri.

Sport[edit]

Formia is the seat of the National Athletics School of the Italian National Olympic Committee, founded in 1955. Athletes such as Pietro Mennea and Giuseppe Gibilisco trained here.

Transportation[edit]

Formia itself is the most important transportation hub of southern Lazio. The Rome–Formia–Naples railway passes through Formia-Gaeta railway station, from which visitors and residents may travel by bus to Gaeta, Minturno, Spigno and other local towns.

Ferries and hydrofoils connect Formia to Ponza, Ischia and Ventotene.

Twin towns[edit]

People related to Formia[edit]

External links[edit]