Terracina is a pleasant seaside resort in the south of the Lazio region, between Rome and Naples. It was an important port on the Roman Appian Way, and the site of a major
temple to Jupiter. Nowadays the modern town spreads out on the plain below the hills, along a wide sandy beach which attracts many summer visitors. The Etrurians
were the first ones to bring civilisation in this area of Italy, although, in the VI century b.C., they were ousted by the Volsci, who settled in the Pontine
Marshes and founded a new fortress: Terracina. According to the chronicles of the times, the original names of the city were two, both of Italic origin:
- Anxur, Volscic name, which meant "boy", attribute of Jupiter, patron of the city;
- Terracina, from the Etrurian "Tarchuna", similar to Tarquinia.
The Volsci built the village according to a precise structure: a group of huts and some important constructions in rock, surrounded by a boundary wall, of
which today some segments are still preserved. A population of ancient Slavic origin and endowed with remarkable intelligence. They even battled against the
Romans, managing to get almost the doors of Rome
although, there, they were stopped! Let's leave for a second the official history and dip ourselves into the
Dionysius of Alicarnasso reports that a group of refugees from Sparta, who rebelled to the very "Spartan" (rigid) law of Licurgo, sailed all the way to
Italy and landed on these coasts rich of water, vegetation and wild fowl. They were so struck by this land that they decided to stop and stay. This is how Terracina was born.
It seems that these new arrivals had the particular tradition of having their guests have dinner sitting on the ground. Of course, the local people noticed this curious usage
and renamed the city of the foreigners as "the place where you have dinner on the ground", terra-cena (dinner on the ground), which, then, was changed in
Terracina is definitely a must for everyone who loves Italy and its beauties!