History Anzio

Although Anzio was already a famous seaside resort in Roman times, outside of Italy the city is mostly famous because the Allies landed here during World War II.

History Anzio

Early History

Domus Neroniana - History Anzio
Ruins of the Domus Neroniana

According to legend, Anzio was founded by the son of Enea, Ascanio. Later the city was conquered by a tribe called the Volsci. After this, there was a continuous war with the Romans. In 338 the fleet of Anzio was defeated in a famous naval battle. The naval rams of the defeated ships were proudly taken to the Roman Forum by the Roman victors. Here they were used to decorate the Rostra.

After Anzio was finally subdued by Rome, it became a popular holiday resort for wealthy Roman citizens. Nero had a large harbour built there. Some remains of both this harbour and the ancient Roman theatre can still be seen.

Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, Anzio fell into disrepair. One major cause was the replacement of Rome by Byzantium as the capital of the Empire. The destruction and looting by the Goths and Saracens also played a major role in the decline of the city.

Modern times

In the 17th century, the city regained some prestige and prosperity. Pope Innocent XII had a new port built.

However, it was not until the 19th century that the population began to grow significantly again. At that time, the town also regained its old reputation as a holiday resort.

At the beginning of the 20th century, ruins of a 3rd century Roman villa were used as a foundation for the Villa Spigarelli. Some of the original mosaics are still visible.

Especially in the United States, England and Commonwealth nations Anzio is famous because the allies came ashore here on January 22, 1944. In the course of the following days, the city was almost completely destroyed. The war cemetery is still visited by the children and grandchildren of soldiers who died in those days.

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