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Coastal Itinerary from Acciarella to Foceverde

The part of the municipal territory closest to the coast is crossed by two parralel roads: the Litoranea wich links the Circeo promontory with the towns of Anzio and Nettuno and the Lungomare that though in the same direction follows the coastal dune.
The first one, characterised by lines of maritime pines, was built in 1929 with the aim of linking the two working villages of Borgo Sabotino and Borgo Grappa respectively functional to the two big building sites for the works of Canale delle Acque Alte and of Rio Martino; this link went on towards the south and crossed then the villages of Sacramento, Bella Farnia and Molella until the Circeo promontory. The second one built by O.N.C. in 1935, follows the coastal dune linking Foceverde to Capoportiere, the two villages of Latina coast now almost completely linked one to the other. Overcoming the brief Foce di Rio Martino deviation, the Lungomare (whose passage is nowadays interrupted until La Bufalara in order to find a remedy for the dune bad conditions) starts its away again along the coast in the municipal territory of Sabaudia.
Both for the Litoranea and for the Lungomare an hypothesis of a more ancient origin has been made because the same area was crossed by the Severiana road created in the III century d.c. to link Ostia to Terracina using even rider or lake ways (even the Fossa Augusta should be part of it). It is not possible to identify this ancient road with the Litoranea or the Lungomare, nor the ancient cartography, often confused, is of any help ( for ex. The Clostra Romana settlement has been identified in different places). Maybe the ancient road, more winding because of the estuaries and low places, could belong in some parts to one or the other road.
The part of the Litoranea linking the rural centre of Acciarella surely does not follow the ancient viability because it has been proved that the Severiana road passed through the Astura settlement, a place closest to the river but more internal than the actual Torre Astura. The small village of Acciarella, a hamlet of Latina since 1934, is charactired by XIXth century farm from which the Borghese reclamation originated and that in the 20's hosted and antimalaric diagnostic centre of the Red Cross, a sanitary presidium for the near Borgo delle Ferriere.
Before overcoming the Astura, the old Satricum river, a pedestrian deviation is possible ( on Saturday and Sunday in winter, everyday from June to September) along the right bank of the river until its estuary, and you arrive at the pine-wood, grown on the ancient Roman villa and its harbour, emerging around the actual Torre Astura, are also visible. Almost halfway, the XVIIIth century brigde is visible through the vegetation, it crashed about ten years after its construction but it indicates the pre-existent crossing of a road, the Severiana one almost for sure, wich went on then till Torre di Foceverde. Volsci and Romani had built a harbour along the banks of the river with moorings and stores, whose remains were still visible in the XVIth century when the area was a shelter for light boats. The Astura, originating from Colli Albani and crossing the whole plain through Satricum, represented, together with Fiume Antico, the easiest way to reach the inland (its use has been ascertained till the prehistory).
The area until Foceverde was part of the Borghese's Tenuta di Valmontorio, who here tried a land reclamation. During 20's, the buildings around the waterscooping machine were built and nowadays they are included in the shooting-range area. The hydrography of the area has been totally changed, modyfing the more ancient canals and rivers, filling up others with earth, as for example the Mastro Pietro Canal, whose function was to collect the Astura waters in the Fogliano Lake during summer when the fishponds suffered from the lowering of the lake level. The iron-foundries did not need the Astura waters in that period because they were inactive. Another disappeared river is the one, parallel to the coast, wich gave the name to Torre di Foceverde, greatly defended thanks to this river position. The tower designed and built by the Caetani on Camera Apostolica order in the defense plan from pirates attacks, became operative between 1660 and 1670 and was rebuilt in 1681 when it took the aspect still kept today. The last attack dates back to 1702 and it is said that 60 pirates were captured. The tower measures 15 m heigth and it is subdivided in 5 floors covered with stone "as a Roman manner"; it was endowed with a bell to catch the garrison attention and a balcony accesible from the last floor trough an international winding staircase and with an armoury that will be sold by the Caetani to the State together with the one in Sermoneta and it will be destined to Castel S.Angelo Musem.
Today the Tower is a visual point of reference even for a nearby camping and it keeps archaeological remains emerged nearby. The remains of the XVIIIth century brigde on the sea side are visible after having overcome the Acque Alte Collector where the canal enters near the dismissed nuclear centre.
The bridge overpasses Foceverde river and for its shape it was used as a loading wharf for the wood until the beginning of the last century. The bridge was used as a substitute for an older wooden one used by the Genovesi coming for the purchase of wood for their arsenal.
From the next square, the deviation on the left links Foceverde with Borgo Sabotino and Borgo Piave, while going on along the coast, you can drive along Latina Lido until Capoportiere. The above said deviation allows us to go through the first road built with the reclamation, an adjustment of a preexisting cart path which linked Cisterna and Sermoneta with Foceverde tower crossing the bush until Passo Barbarino( later called Borgo Piave). In the whole area some important archaeological findings have been made. They demonstrate how some settlements were present since the prehistoric and protohistoric ages. In 1929 Borgo Sabotino was built as a working pre-reclamation village in the area called Passo Genovese, at the crossroad with the Litoranea.
It hosts two buildings: the XIXth century farm Casale Colajanni and the Procoio, a circular building now used for cultural exhibition and as the seat of the Municipal Contemporary Art Gallery. Its function was to collect and transform the milk and it was repaired by the Caetani, whose generosity is still remembered by a stone. In the middle of the Borgo, deviating on the right and crossing the road which links Latina to the sea you arrive at Borgo Grappa and Circeo, while going on towards Borgo Piave we are introduced on the state road n°148 which drives to Latina on the right. If from Foceverde, instead of deviating for Borgo Sabotino, you go along Latina Lido until Capoportiere where the homonyme draining pump has been working since 1934. Near there the discovery of a thermal source has put the basis for a project which will involve the development of a new plants and facilities in the area. From Capoportiere Square, built in a non-building area, via del Lido starts and from there it is possible to reach Latina's centre; going on along the dune, instead you cross an area included in the Circeo National Park; it is characterised by some vegetation and by Fogliano Lake and its homonymous borgo which today hosts an interesting botanical garden. Before reaching the harbour of Rio Martino, you can a palm-grove which interrupts the continuity of the way in Torre di Fogliano, so called because of a XVIIth century Saracen tower, built near Roman villa and destroyed during the last war. Going back to the hinterland, you overcome the canals which connect Rio Martino, Fogliano and Monaci lakes, visible going along the two roads built on the canals' bank; after overcoming the harbour's lock, you arrive in Borgo Grappa.
The final part of the Canale delle Acque Medie, that is Rio Martino, sees the rationalization of an ancient canal maybe Volsco and identifiable with the Fossa Cetega; since Middle Ages something is known about a Riguus Martinuus and because of the height on the sea of the Quaternarian dune, which the Canal crosses, its artificial nature is ascertained. Before the whole reclamation this in the Fogliano Lake, before flowing into the sea in different ways no more recognizable.
Now the canal is used as canal harbour in order to satisfy the residential tourism of the area. Along the path just described in the Tabula Peutingeriana( the roman itinerary report of the known world in the IV-VI d.c.) two stationes appear: Clostris, 9 miles from Astura, and Ad Turres Albas, only 3 miles far away from the previous one. Ad Turres Albas has been identified with Fogliano Tower 5 km away; it is still no certain Clostris position because of frequent settlements identified since the Republican Age; in that area, what is certain is that the statio was built near an important dam, as the toponym makes us think. Howerver, the presence of two stationes 3 miles far away one from the other demonstrates the difficulty in crossing the territory.
The present Borgo Grappa, called Porcareccia di S.Donato or Archi di S.Donato in the XVIIIcentury and in the last century Casal dei Pini, corresponds to a Roman settlement; the water system found out in the XVIII century is part of this settlement and it was represented in Ing.Rappini's project of the reclamation; the excavations carried out by the Caetani in their farm allowed the finding of manufacturers and funerary inscriptions which document the presence of an ancient and intense activity contrasting with the idea of the inhabitated marsh as it was commonly thought after the abandonament of the places. Part of this archaeological material is saved in Latina Antiquarium and in the Sovrintendenza of the Roman National Museum, as Domiziano Statue or the epigraphic documents reminding of some characters: Zosimo who worked in Julius's field, Terentia remembering her sons Stasimo Evangeliamo and Aureliano dead at a very young age, Fenippo who canalled the waters near Fogliano at his own expenses, Silana who made a water system to be built. During the 20's the Borgo hosted the working village of those who worked in Rio Martino building-site, so it was provided with houses, church, waterworks tower, rural school and store, which were added to the XIXth century Casale dei Pini.
Crossed by Litoranea, Borgo Grappa is still characterised today by the maritime pines and constitutes a reference even for the recent tourist settlements born in the borgo surroundings and which are included in Sabaudia municipal territory.
Going on the Litoranea towards Latina, on the left you side the Fogliano estate now included in Circeo National Park for its naturalistic interest (120 hectares of Park and 400h. of Lake). It belonged to Ceionii's family (an important exponent of this family was Giuliano l'Apostata) and saves the archaeological material found in the excavation made by the Caetani under Boni guidance at the end of the last century. Kamenio's funerary inscription surely constitutes the most interesting remains of 1884:
Alfenio Ceionio Kamenio Juliano's tomb gave material of the IV century d.c., together with the inscription dedicated to his wife.
Kamenio was consul and governor in Africa then he administred various pagan cults (he was also under trial because he was accused of being a magician); he lived in Rome on the Quirinale and he had his own piece of land in Fogliano where he died in 385 a.D. at the age of 42. Examining the epigraph in the back you can notice that it has been used as a lusoria slab (a slab holes where little balls could pass through). In the following centuries Fogliano belonged to Grottaferrata abbey and to that of Subiaco; since the Xth century it was owned by the Annibaldi, Sermoneta's Lords and in 1302 it passed to the Caetani who kept it until 1925; in 1984 Fogliano has become a State property. At the moment an important repair both of the buildings and of the old botanical garden is being carried out; it would also be possible to find out the medieval church of S.Andrea by adequate excavations.
The complex has been visited by important people; it is made up of the Casino della Caccia of 1742 which includes XVIth century structures, Casina Inglese built in a neo-Gothic style according to the fashion of those years, by Procoio, the harbour and some buildings for the people working there for fishing and for the buffalo's breeding (both these activities have been carried out in this place since the Middle Ages as it is documented by some historical news concerning the fish selling in Rome in S.Angelo in Peschiera). Among the projects thought to bring out the Parco's use, it is important to remember the presence of a guided way for blind, realized by planting sweet-smelling plants.
Going out from Parco di Fogliano, the road which goes on towards Latina is a remaking of the ancient way which allowed the Caetani to reach the Casino di caccia, crossing directly the wood and the dune of Quaternario, between Colle Morello and Colle Montanari, a place rich of springs and inhabited by "lestraioli" (the "lestre" were clearings used for winter pasture, characterized by round houses-huts and rectangular built houses: the truss was placed along the perimeter of 1 m. high, and it supported the covering of straw).
The area between the Litoranea, this deviation and Latina is called Colle Parito; the name reminds of a medieval female monastery called " De Parietinis" because it was built using also the walls remains of a Roman buildings.
This area was the seat of a prehistoric settlement, placed on the high banks of a big river, the "Cicerchia", which entered Fogliano lake after having conveyed the waters of a wide basin, with an estuary still as wide as the indentation of the lake itself.
Traces of this settlement and of the fishing and hunting activities are frequently found on siliceous pebbles: considered as the capital of the superior Paleolitico Pontino, Colle Parito witnesses also the links between the hinterland and Palmarola island, which was reached for the supplying of the obsidian, the precious small sharp blades and bits to be used as a kind of holy tatoo. Going on towards Latina you arrive at Borgo Isonzo crossroad, strided over by the State Road 148 which crosses the pontina plain, leaving the town on the left; other roads, which enter the town, start from the State Road 148 North, from Borgo Piave, Via del Lido and Via Isonzo.