Recommended daytrip from Rome: Nettuno & Anzio
Contemporary history buffs visiting Rome would maybe like to use their time in central Italy to remember the fallen during World War II.
While there are places to do so in Rome, two of the most interesting destinations for anyone interested in the conflict, Anzio and its neighbor Nettuno, happen to be just 1 hour south of the city.
From Nero to WWII
Anzio was known as a fishermen village and a sea resort for the wealthy, where in ancient times Romans used to build their holiday homes (most notably, a mansion belonging to emperor Nero called “Domus Neroniana” is there: a recommended visit).
Of course everything changed with the Battle of Anzio in 1944: much part of the old town was destroyed during the events, and both a war museum and two war cemeteries were established here.
Anzio has maintained an air of elegance along the seafront, but the original vibe of the place has mostly gone lost. Urban development has transformed this small town into a Roman suburb, where Romans themselves often go over the weekends, either to board a boat to the island of Ponza or… to eat seafood (if you’re that way inclined, there are a number of excellent seafood-only restaurants right in the port of Anzio).
Visitors interested in the Battle of Anzio can visit the Beach Head Museum at Villa Adele, or head to the Beach Head War Cemetery at the northern entrance of Anzio (a taxi would be the fastest way to get there, if you reach Anzio by train).
Another, smaller war cemetery, called Commonwealth of Nations Anzio War Cemetery, is by the “regular” Anzio cemetery in the center of town.
We highly recommend googling any and all cemeteries you might want to visit (using Google Maps will work just fine!) to find out about up-to-date opening times, which tend to change depending on the season.
Nettuno: forts and saints
In spite of it being called “Battle of Anzio”, historians know better and teach us that Nettuno was impacted by the war as much as its… next-door neighbor.
To be fair, even though the two towns are separated by a train stop, it’s difficult to say where Anzio ends and Nettuno begins, which is also why they are paired together when planning a day trip.
While in Nettuno, visitors will be able to get inside the Renaissance-era Forte Sangallo, or visit the shrine of Saint Maria Goretti, who died in the area.
If you’re here because of WWII, though, the main landmark is the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial, the resting place of a little under 8,000 U.S. soldiers.
In other news, you might be surprised to learn that Nettuno is home to one of the most important baseball teams in Italy – your day trip might coincide with one of their games!
How to get to Anzio and Nettuno
Both Anzio and Nettuno are connected to Rome through a railway service, thanks to the FL8 regional line departing from Roma Termini. Travel time is respectively under 1 hour and over 1 hour, on account of the relevant train stations being so close to one another.
Both cities can also be reached by car, and of course you can rely on one of our partners’ shuttle services, but be aware that travel time could be significantly longer, due to the main routes south being routinely impacted by heavy car traffic (and particularly so over the weekends).