Nestled away in the Lazio Region of Italy there is a small town called Santa Marinella. This picturesque town is located northwest of the Italy’s capital, Rome. Santa Marinella is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of Rome's city center as, less than 60 miles from Rome, Santa Marinella captures the authentic Italian lifestyle.
Santa Marinella encapsulates the essence of beach life. Ancient Romans used to travel to Santa Marinella’s beach and used this town as a bathing resort. Santa Marinella is located along the southern hills of the Tolfa Mountains. Ancient Santa Maria was given the name Punicum during the beginning of A.D., which is thought to derive from an ancient pomegranate tree. In the Middle Ages, the coast of Santa Marinella did not belong to the people of the town, but to the Lords Vico, Anguillara, and Orsini. During the year 1,000 it is believed that Basilian monks traveled to Santa Marinella and built this village, including a monastery and church. This original church can no longer be found in Santa Marinella, but some believe that it is located in the Odescalchi Castle. On October 4th, 1949, Santa Marinella and Santa Severa officially detached themselves from Civitavecchia, allowing the towns to become independent. During the 1950s and 1960s, many celebrities or VIPs vacationed in Santa Marinella. Among these celebrities was actress Ingrid Bergman, who owned a villa in Santa Marinella. The perfect climate throughout the year and location contributed to this town being known as la Perla del Tirreno or “The Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea”. The last king of Italy, King Vittorio Emanuele II, requested that this town build a villa to help cure his sick daughter. After his daughter was cured, the king donated his villa to the city and turned it into the Ospedale Bambino Gesù (The Hospital of Baby Jesus). Pope Pius XII was born and raised in the city of Santa Marinella and Saint Marina and Saint Leonardo are the patron saints of this coastal town.
Castello Odescalchi was purchased by Prince Baldassare Odescalchi in 1887 and is still owned by this family. Before this castle belonged to the Odescalchi family, it played a huge part in the town’s security. During the 12th century, the northern tower of this castle was constructed in order to protect the coast from being invaded by pirates. During the 17th century, the Barberini family became its owners until 1887. This stunning castle is surrounded by palm trees, wild olive shrubs, sea pines, and other native plants. During the summertime the roses, violets, and plumbago bloom throughout the gardens and cacti that were originally planted by Prince Baldassare Odescalchi have grown into beautiful plants, adding character to this castle.
Port of Odescalchi is open all day and every day to the public. There are boats constantly coming in and out and the gorgeous blue-green water of the sea highlights the hundreds of parked boats and yachts teeming in this port. Many fish restaurants can be found along the seafront and the area has been kept very organized and clean throughout the years.
Castello di Santa Severa is a gorgeous medieval castle that is set between two stunning beaches. For most of the winter and fall months during the last 10 years, this castle was closed to the public, but has recently been re-opened. Inside this castle are two churches that have served as places of worship over the years, and many popes and cardinals have visited here. There are five museums located inside as well as a bookstore and a play area. Local artisan shops are scattered in and around the Castello di San Severa.
Santa Marinella Beach
A coastal town should always be accompanied by a stunning beach, and Santa Marinella is no exception. The Santa Marinella beach is located within minutes of the train station and there are both private and public parts of this beach, while Cozy beach chairs and umbrella rentals are available only on the private side. The gorgeous greenish-blue water of the Tyrrhenian Sea is a stunning sight to behold. This beach is extremely convenient for locals and tourists to visit.
A total of 30 trains run between two train stations in Rome with routes that stop at Santa Marinella. Typically, a train ride to or from the Roma Termini train station to Santa Marinella takes about 1 hour and 5 minutes. Driving is not recommend because the journey can take longer than 2 hours and parking is limited in the town.
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