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Anzio has always been a place of residence for Roman patricians who had their villas built there. One of these republican villas, dating back to the 2nd century BC, became part of the Imperial era and some time was spent there by emperor Augustus and Suetonius, who said that Augustus has been acclaimed here as Pater Patriae.

When he settled on the throne, the emperor Nero, who was born in Anzio, decided to expand the villa and make a sumptuous residence that was used until the Dynasty of the Severi.

The emperor’s residence extended over the Capo d’Anzio along a coastal strip of about eight hundred meters and about 80 meters deep. Behind it was the famous Sanctuary of Fortuna Anziate.

A legend tells that Nero witnessed the fire in Rome just from this villa.

From the private collection of Nero statues come absolute masterpieces such as the Anciente Fanci and the Apollo Belvedere, with which the Romans remembered having conquered Greece, and which are now in the Vatican Museum. The superb statue of the Borghese Gladiator, orn the other hand, is kept in the Louvre Museum.

Nero wanted to erect a villa worthy, in size and magnificence, of his status as an emperor. You can recognize a huge semi-circular lookout that overlooked the sea. Also, probably in Anzio there was the famous Imperial Library which contained rare writings by Pythagoras.

The remains of this grand villa are located near the ruins of a theatre.




Traveller's Guide to Italy