Come to one of the most perfect medieval towns in Italy and enjoy living in a unique 12th century house, available for rent by the week or month. An unforgettable experience in the mild climate of this fairy-tale like town and area, only twenty minutes from great beaches, and a half hour train ride from Rome, awaits you.
Sermoneta is a rare and wonderfully preserved medieval hilltop town, with the ambiance of earlier epochs and a beauty for the ages. Domus Doull is a restored house in the oldest part of the town, near the dramatic “Caetani” castle, and with views over the Pontine Plain to the Mediterranean. Not far from the Via Appia, and countless other historic sites, and with feasible day trips by train to Rome and Naples, this is a great location for sightseeing. The 40 kilometres of beaches in the are make it a great location for summer holidays too.
The house includes a charmingly painted living room/dining room, a fully-equipped kitchen, and two romantic bedrooms, each with modern baths. Its shady garden is deliciously scented by Jasmine and the blossoms of ancient orange and lemon trees. Enjoy cooking Italian style in the garden’s own pizza oven and outdoor grill, then settle in and enjoy your meal at the stone outdoor table. Best of all, enjoy sunning and bathing in a your own pool. In May and June the jasmine blossom is positively overwhelming.
The train station of Latina is only ten minutes by car from Sermoneta, and with the train journey to Rome only half an hour, daily sight-seeing visits to Rome are an attractive proposition. However, there is a wealth of tourist possibilities in the environs of Sermoneta; some of them are noted below. The ABBEY of VALVISCIOLO, a few kilometers north of SERMONETA, was established by Basilian monks in the VIIIth century and passed to the Knights Templar who reconstructed it in Gothic style using local stone. The Knights immortalized their ownership by sculpting their cross on the facade. In the XIIIth century, the Cistercians imposed their own style on the interior and in the decoration. Inside, frescoes by Nicola Circignani (1520-1600) and Emilio Savonanzi (1580-1660) can still be seen. Next to the church is the monastery with its cloisters. Not far from SERMONETA (6km) are the ruins of the ancient town of NINFA, the “Pompei of the Middle Ages”, destroyed in 1381. The destruction of NINFA was the result of a feud between two branches of the Caetani family, the winners of which exacted this violent revenge. The town had contained within its walls ten churches, four monasteries, a municipal Palace, and a castle with a high tower. The ruins remained untouched for centuries; the crystal waters from the Lepino hills flowing through the lake and streams of the abandoned site. Today, all that remains of old NINFA are the ruins of the castle, the mills, and the churches, reflected in the waters of its lake. In 1920 Gelasio Caetani converted the site into a natural Oasis, a wonderful park of exotic and rare plants that thrive in this world-renowned micro-climate. These extraordinary gardens can be visited on the first Saturday and Sunday of each month from April to October, and on public holidays.
An extraordinary natural site is the NATIONAL PARK OF CIRCEO, host to the Monte Circeo, 20 km of superb sandy beaches, four lakes and a forest in its 8,500 hectares (18,700 acres). Recognised by UNESCO as a “World Heritage Site”, the park contains 1,237 species of fauna and 250 species of bird, and wild boar, deer and foxes thrive in the forest. It also contains ruins of Emperor Domitian’s Villa and Lucullo’s Spring. The 1,700 foot Monte Circeo is believed to be the site of Circe and her Sirens, described in Homer’s Iliad. Circe drugged Ulysses’ 23 companions and turned them into swine; however, Ulysses avoided this fate with an antidote provided by Hermes, and persuaded Circe to fall in love with him, which helps explain her decision to return his companions. The Roman Emperors had an eye for beauty, and in addition to Emperor Domitian’s Villa near Sabaudia, those of Nero at Anzio and Tiberius at Sperlonga are testament to the fact that vacations in this area have an excellent, and lengthy, pedigree!