An escape in nature and history a stone’s throw from Rome
Santa Severa is the ideal destination for a weekend on the outskirts of Rome: a strip of sand where you can relax that ends with a magical appearance of a medieval castle, a museum, and an ancient village to visit. Excellent fish cuisine and the opportunity to bird-watch in a protected natural oasis.
The Village and Castle of Santa Severa
Santa Severa is a well-known Lazio seaside resort located 50 km from Rome, known above all for its main attraction, the Castle, situated in the village of the same name, which owes its name to the Christian martyr Severa, killed here in 298 AD. C.
The locality has many historic and artistic attractions. Born between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the medieval village includes the Church of Santa Maria Assunta and the Baptistery dedicated to Santa Severa and Santa Lucia. The position on the sea has always meant that the town was important as a seaport. This importance is also evident by the votive graffiti inside the Baptistery depicting ships, the work of sailors passing through the port of Santa Severa, who thus entrusted their journey to divine protection.
The Castle’s museum is set up, on three floors, inside the fortress, dating back to the fourteenth century; here was the early Christian church dedicated to the martyr Severa. The museum displays some of the finds thanks to the excavations carried out simultaneously with the restoration work. The history of the Castle, from the Etruscan era to the present day, is documented through a series of panels and multimedia equipment.
The Saracen Tower (La Torre Saracena), dating back to the 9th century, is the oldest part of the Castle; it owes its name to the function of controlling the coast, especially in view of the possible attacks by Saracen boats between the 16th and 18th centuries.
The Sea Museum, The Territory Museum and the Antiquarium
The Sea Museum consists of seven rooms containing one hundred exhibits and, as the name suggests, has an exhibition itinerary focused on underwater archeology and ancient navigation. Through reconstructions of environments and instruments, it allows the visitor to know the world of old sailors more closely.
Instead, the Museum of the Territory, located inside the Castle of Santa Severa, presents a collection of written testimonies, photos, and objects to tell the mineralogical aspect of the territory, the work activities in the field of agriculture, mining, and mining craftsmanship.
Finally, do not miss the Antiquarium, set up in the area in front of the Castle; here are preserved the materials found during excavations in the archaeological site of Pyrgi, the port of ancient Caere, today Cerveteri. Two temples emerged from the holes: the oldest dedicated to the divinity Uni (6th century BC), the next to the Greek goddess of dawn Leucothea (first half of the 5th century BC).
Opening hours and days
1 November – 31 March: From Tuesday to Friday from 09:00 to 16:00; Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays from 10:00 to 17:00
1 April – 30 June: From Tuesday to Friday from 09:00 to 18:00; Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays from 10:00 to 19:00
1 July – 31 August: From Tuesday to Sunday from 15:00 to 24:00
1 September – 31 October: From Tuesday to Friday from 09:00 to 18:00; Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays from 10:00 to 19:00
Things To Do In The Area
The beaches of Santa Severa are always very crowded, thanks to the romantic view of the castle in the background. The seabed of this stretch of coast is also rich in flora and fauna, ideal for diving. However, if you want to integrate beach idleness with an immersion in a respectable natural oasis, then you can visit the Macchiatonda Regional Nature Reserve.
Established by regional law in 1983, the Reserve, which consists of a wetland of 244 hectares, is used as a source of food and refuge for numerous species of migratory and sedentary birds, and is the ideal place for walking and taking nature photos.
Where To Eat In Santa Severa
Eating on the beach, a stone’s throw from the sea, is one of the great pleasures that cannot be given up when visiting a seaside resort. In Santa Severa we recommend you try one of these restaurants, all with a view of the medieval building that is the symbol of the town:
L’isola del pescatore: it is undoubtedly the best known fish restaurant in Santa Severa, often frequented by VIPs and various celebrities. Strategically located a stone’s throw from the Castle of Santa Severa, it is the ideal place for an excellent fish-based meal with a suggestive sea view.
Pino al mare: in this place you can eat right on the beach, a stone’s throw from the Castle, in a welcoming and familiar environment. The menu offers the right mix of tradition and originality: the great protagonist is the fresh fish of the area.
Barracuda Young: positioned facing the sea, it is one of the most popular restaurants. A modern and refined environment where you can try many fish specialties, accompanied, as in the case of the other places, by the romantic view of the Castle in the background.
Where to Sleep in Santa Severa
If your dream has always been to sleep in a castle in Santa Severa, you can finally make it come true. Thanks to the Lazio Region’s support since April 2017, an accommodation facility has been opened in the Castle, a hostel for young people and families. The rooms often have a breathtaking sea view, which offers a truly breathtaking panorama. Do not miss the opportunity to sleep in a fairytale place, which will allow you to make a real journey through time!
How to Arrive to Santa Severa From Rome
By car: ‘A12’ motorway: Rome-Civitavecchia | ‘Strada Statale’ n.1 Aurelia: Santa Severa Km. 51
By bus: Cotral from Rome Cornelia, line to Civitavecchia
By train: Regional Trenitalia, from Roma Termini, Ostiense, Trastevere, or San Pietro, FL5 line towards Civitavecchia or Grosseto. Click here to buy the train ticket.