GLI STUCCHI DI EPOCA ROMANA A MARINA DI CASTELLONEFORMIA
The Ambulacrum of “Marina di Castellone” are the remains of a balneum of a Roman maritime villa dating back to the first century B.C.
The plasters in one of the five rooms are all very precious and of remarkable value ; they are leaning against the ancient city walls at sea perhaps dating back to the pre-Roman period before its first republican phase.
The beach in front of these finds, located in the center of the seacoast, at the core of the city of Formia, is next to the Roman pier whose remains are currently submerged.
The places, near the so-called “Wall of Nerva” are of a unique beauty, despite the damage caused in the first post-war period by the crossing of a new road. (the new Flacca)
The first two photos are taken from the book ” Mola and Castellone di Gaeta ” (Vol. II) written and published by Aldo Treglia.
The first photo is a drawing by Carlo Labruzzi (1747 – 1817) while the second one is an ink drawing by F. Keiserman (1765 – 1833) which practically reproduces Labruzzi’s work who certainly saw and designed the site in his journey on the Appian Way from Rome to Benevento.
Both give us some images of a well- known site of Marina di Castellone, famous for being a Roman site of fine workmanship.
This site is on the edge of a bay in the center of Formia, with polygonal walls of the fourth/ third century B.C. on the mountain side and with penultimate and only room on the west side with a vault of delicate and precious plasters of the Roman period of the first imperial period.
Labruzzi and Keiserman’s drawings, which were made in the last years of the 18th century, offer us open spaces on the sea side (while today the arched openings are walled up) and even two nymphaeums with vaults decorated with plasters in relief with a variegated symbology.
MARINA DI CASTELLONE BEACH WITH THE MEGALITHIC WALLS
Also reachable from Largo Marina, there is a wonderful beach of fine sand for a length of about one hundred meters.
Before the fifties of the last century there were three beaches in the center of Formia as well as the ones of Vindicio and of the eastern coast.
With the construction of the Flacca way , a real barrier to the sea and a real environmental disaster for the town of Formia, we have lost two of the beaches inserted within our city: Sarinola beach (or Salinola) and Mola beach.
There is still this pretty little beach now with sand but which in the past, as I well remember, was covered with pebbles and stones.
The quality of the water also seems good after the introduction of the Castellone sewer into the primary sewer system that leads to the purifier in the ex Enaoli area.
The Access to this small coast is difficult passing through the boats of a shipyard that makes use of a specific permission.
I don’t think there are so many Italian towns that are so close to a beach at an few meters from the city center.
On the mountain side it is visible, and in good condition, a splendid megalithic wall with large limestone and sandstone blocks placed without mortar. Some are set in order to allow a better interlocking between them.
Also from the photos attached to this post are visible two boulders with two letters carved in an excellent way even if I believe they were made in recent time. A “T” and a “P”.
In the eastern part and closer to the Roman wall of Nerva, four rooms, with barrel ceilings, from the Roman period of the first century BC, set against the before mentioned Cyclopean walls with evident bathing functions connected to the sea and the use of the beach and belonging to a maritime villa set to the north of Flacca itself and near the Wall of Nerva ..
Only one of these rooms has a vault with wonderful stuccoes with evident and prominent floral and military reliefs.
The entire structure is below an area currently used as a public parking area overlooking the beach.
The conditions of the walls, and in particular of the stuccoes, are clearly affected by water infiltrations from above the ceiling.