Coastal town in the province of Rome, the ancient "Antium" (which also includes part of the territory of Neptune), Volscian capital, was founded by Antaeus, the son of Ulysses and the sorceress Circe (the Trojan historians, however, identify in Ascanio, son of Aeneas, as the founder of the city).
Although the discovery of archaeological remains, that date back to the Stone Age, attest the presence of settlements in this area since ancient times, while the foundation of the first town dates back to VI and V centuries B.C., when Volsci occupied the area between Terracina and Old Neptunia. Colonized by the Romans, Anzio became a residential area chosen by the noble patricians to spend their holidays, many, in fact, are the remains of Roman villas, of which some even belonged to prominent figures of political and cultural life of Rome, as Cicero , Lucretius, Brutus, Cassius, Caligula, Nero and Maecenas.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the town submitted a long period of decline and neglect, in which it even lost its original name of Anzio, in favor to of nearby Neptune. Only in the XVII century it returned to its antique splendor, with the reconstruction of the port, by Pope Innocent XII. Since the early XIX, what was once a small fishing village was transformed into a rich town, resort and residence Roman upper classes.
Sites of Interest:
- Villa di Nerone, an imposing building that stretched over an area of more than 800 meters from the tip of Cape Anzio to Cape of Arco Muto. Legends tell that from this villa Nero watched the burning of Rome. The structure underwent considerable alterations over the centuries and belonged to the various emperors who succeeded to power in Rome. During excavations, here were found some of the most beautiful sculptures of Roman times, such as: the Apollo of the Belvedere, the Borghese Gladiator and the Maiden of Anzio;
- the remains of the Roman theater (I century A.D.), on the hill of Santa Teresa;
- Porto Innocenzo, built by Innocent XII on the remains of a previous Roman one, which dated back to period of Nerone's rule and was destroyed by Saracens in a raid after the fall of the Emprie;
- Villa Adele, the first cardinal residence built in Anzio (1615);
- Villa Albani, built in 1731 by Cardinal Alessandro Albani;
- Villa Sarsina, built between 1740 and 1745 by Cardinal Neri Maria Corsini on the ruins of the Villa of Caesars;
- Villa Spigarelli (1920);
- the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Santa Teresa;
- the Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, which was completed in 1939, a project of the Roman architect Luigi Paletti.