Scauri and Marina di Minturno in Italy

The Natural Park of Scauri Gianola and Monte d’Oro

The Regional Park of Scauri Gianola and Monte d’Oro is a protected nature reserve situated on the verdant headland of Monte d’Oro (128 metres).  There are a series of interesting footpaths. The park contains many fascinating archaeological features.

The Ancient Town of Pirae

The Regional Park of Scauri Gianola and Monte d’Oro is a protected nature reserve situated on the verdant headland of Monte d’Oro (128 metres).  There are a series of interesting footpaths. The park contains many fascinating archaeological features.

Here there are sections of megalithic polygonal walls and an arched gateway dating from the 5th or 4th century BC. These once belonged to the ancient town of Pirae. Pirae belonged to the Ausoni people.  The town together with its neighbouring settlements of Minturnae Suessa, Sinuessa, Vescia, Ausona, formed the Pentapoli Aurunca, a population that for many years managed to oppose the expansion of the Romans. The pre-Roman settlement was thought to have a maritime port and a castrum.

Below is a panoramic view of Scauri’s headland of Monte d’Oro and the Scauri coastline taken from Monte Petrella in the Aurunci Mountains.

The Roman Villa of Marco Emilio Scauro

There are also numerous Roman remains in the area, such as the villa of Marco Emilio Scauro.  The town of Scauri takes its name from this Roman consul and senator.  Another roman villa, built in 1st century BC, is thought to have been owned by the politician Lucio Mamurra. Further Roman remains include a temple dedicated to Janus, a bath complex, thermal spas, water cisterns and reservoirs.
Roman Villa of Marco Emilio Scauro in Scauri Lazio Italy
© Maurizio Aprea
Roman Villa of Marco Emilio Scauro in Scauri Lazio Italy
© Maurizio Aprea
Water Cistern Villa of Marco Emilio Scauro in Scauri Lazio Italy
© Maurizio Aprea
Water Cistern Villa of Marco Emilio Scauro in Scauri Lazio Italy
© Maurizio Aprea
Water Cistern Villa of Marco Emilio Scauro in Scauri Lazio Italy
© Maurizio Aprea
Roman Villa of Marco Emilio Scauro in Scauri Lazio Italy
© Maurizio Aprea
Roman Villa of Marco Emilio Scauro in Scauri Lazio Italy
© Maurizio Aprea

The Roman Port of Gianola

At Gianola there are the remains of a small Roman port and ponds which were utilised as a fish hatchery.

Roman Port at Gianola near Formia and Scauri Italy
© Luigi Versaggi
Roman Port at Gianola near Formia and Scauri Italy
© Luigi Versaggi
Roman Port at Gianola near Formia and Scauri Italy
© Luigi Versaggi
Roman Port at Gianola near Formia and Scauri Italy
© Luigi Versaggi
Roman Port at Gianola near Formia and Scauri Italy
© Luigi Versaggi

Nearby there is a stretch of protected coastline, a Marine Natural Park known as the Oasi Blu.

The Spiaggia dei Sassolini

The Spiaggia dei Sassolini is a picturesque sheltered little pebble beach renowned for its crystal clear water.  Nearby is the Grotta Azzurra so named because the beautiful aquamarine colors of the sea are reflected onto the walls of the cave.  There is another cave by the name of the Grotta delle Sette Cannelle which has some stalactites and a fresh water pool. It is noted for the characteristic reverberations made by the waves as they crash and pound within the cave.

Overlooking the sea is the square tower the Torre dei Cavallari, which formed part of a coastal defence system to guard against marauding pirates.  In 1552 the notorious Turkish pirate Dragut landed on the shores of Scauri. His troops invaded Scauri, Traetto and other neighbouring villages.  He took 200 of the local inhabitants as prisoners before making his escape.

The Torre dei Cavallari in Scauri South Lazio Italy
The Torre dei Cavallari in Scauri South Lazio Italy

Also to be seen are the ruins of a 14th century medieval tower that protected the mills along the River Capodacqua. 

From Monte d’Oro there are spectacular views of the Gulf of Gaeta.