The port of Anzio is the place around which the life of Anzio exists, it having been born in this place due to the particular geographic conditions of the coast. First a port was built by pre-Roman populations such as the Volsci, who ruled Anzio for centuries, then came the construction of the Neroniano port.
The emperor had entrusted the works to the architects Severo and Cerere and the remains of their efforts are still visible. Anzio for centuries has been one of the most prosperous centres near Rome.
The decline of the city coincides with that of Rome and the arrival of the Barbarians and until 1691 seemed unstoppable. But a fortuitous episode would change the destiny of this city.
In 1691 the future Pope Innocent XII was going to Rome to participate in the conclave that would have him elected when a storm brought his boat to the shores of Anzio where he found refuge among the remains of Nero’s villa.
In 1697, as a token of thanksgiving, the pope came to Anzio and started the work of the new Porto Innocenziano which, however, had regular problems of silting-up and had to be dredged.
The port is right in the centre of the city and perhaps represents its beating heart. It is famous for the fleet of fishing boats that bring fresh fish every day to all the numerous restaurants on the pier and throughout the hinterland of the Lazio region.
The fish market on the pier is one of the experiences to have in this wonderful town and the famous ‘fried fish’ prepared just after the arrival of the boats is one of the most famous dishes to savour.