Lower Sperlonga and Beaches
To the north of Sperlonga’s headland and the Torre Truglia lies the lower and more modern and commercial section of the town of Sperlonga. With the building of the new coastal road, the Via Flacca, in the 1950’s Sperlonga began to grow from being a sleepy little fishing village into a developing seaside resort. This was mainly due to Sperlonga’s beautiful coastline and its two wonderful sandy beaches named Ponente beach and Levante beach.
Sperlonga was to become a favourite retreat for the Italian actor Raf Vallone, who purchased a beautiful house there. He first discovered Sperlonga while he was involved in the filming two movies in the area named “Riso Amaro” and “Non C’è Pace Tra Gli Ulivi”. Both of these films were directed by Giuseppe De Santis who was born in Fondi. Raf Vallone enjoyed hosting many famous celebrities at his Sperlonga home. These included famous authors, philosophers, playwrights, artists, actors and actresses including Jean Sorel, Marlene Dietrich, Olivia de Havilland and Brigitte Bardo.
Ponente Beach in Sperlonga
Today, in the lower part of Sperlonga there is a well developed beach named La Riviera Ponente which has several hotels and bathing establishments. There are also many small shops, restaurants, bars and ice-cream parlours. Beyond Sperlonga, an expanse of pale, golden sand and dunes reach as far as the eye can see, until it finally joins the next coastal resort of Terracina, a distance of around 14 kilometres, and even beyond to the mountainous headland of San Felice Circeo.
Levante Beach in Sperlonga
To the South, beyond the harbour is located next to Sperlonga’s Levante beach. Here the Aurunci Mountains come down to the shore, and trees and greenery line the coast. Most of the beach is taken up with typical Italian style Lido’s or beach establishments, where you pay for a parking space, and facilities, such as hiring a sunbed and parasols. Often showers and changing facilities are provided, and most supply refreshments at bar or even have a restaurant. There are also some stretches of spiaggia libera, or “free beach”, where you can choose your spot, sunbathe, swim for free, or paddling along in the gently soothing waves.
Sperlonga’s beaches are credited as being the best to be found North of Naples and South of Rome. The sparkling, clear waters have been awarded the prestigious European Blue Flag for several years running, the growth of “Poseidon seaweed” adorning the rocky coasts demonstrates the cleanliness of the sea.
The most beautiful stretch of coast lies between Sperlonga and Gaeta, and is interspersed with small rocky coves, rocky promontories and wide expanses of golden sand. Along the coast there are numerous sandy beaches, some of which are secluded and can only be reached on foot – namely: Capovento, Sant’Agostino, San Vito, Arenauta, Scissure, Ariana, Quaranta Remi, Fontania, and Serapo.
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All photos on this page © Louise Shapcott