Tor Caldara – Anzio, Italy - Atlas Obscura
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Tor Caldara

Anzio, Italy

An old watchtower from the 16th-century now watches over sulfur springs and one of Lazio's last coastal woodlands. 

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This more than 100-acre stetch of Mediterranean woodland, located in the town of Anzio, is one of the few surviving wild patches along the coast of Italy’s Lazio region. This location is named after a watchtower that watches over the headland, upon which, a Roman maritime villa once existed during the 1st-3rd centuries.

Part of the villa’s building materials were used to design the tower originally known as Torre delle Caldane, one of several watchtowers constructed along the coast to protect the region from piracy. The tower was strengthened by Marcantonio Colonna, a famous admiral of the Catholic fleet at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

Below and behind the tower are several prings, originally used by the local communities to extract sulfur. Farther behind the small woods of holm and corn oaks are traces of World War II foxholes.  

Know Before You Go

The reserve has several marked trails that are only accessible from the reserve's entrance on the coastal road "Litoranea Anzio-Ostia," at kilometer 34.400. It is run by the Italian NGO Legambiente and the opening times are 9 am to 2 pm on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Entry is free of charge and the NGO runs several activities and guided hikes.

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