The Quiet Town of Formia on Province of Latina, Italy

Formia is a quiet town on the coast of Italy just an hour north of Naples.

I decided on Formia as our next place to stay as it was reasonably close to Genoa where we would be joining our MSC Poesia for a 7 day Mediterranean cruise.

With Formia being on the coast and reasonably southern I thought it would have a pretty decent climate over winter. Brrr, I was a little off.

It wasn’t bad but we certainly would have liked it warmer, and next time I will have to chose a better place.

Having said that, when it was pleasant outside we made the most of it and walked around the area as well as taking a couple of trips to the neighbouring town of Gaeta.

Getting to Formia Gaeta

If like us, when visiting Formia or Gaeta, you will probably arrive by train. The Formia train station is slightly above the town and has some decent views.

Formia train station

Formia train station

 

View from Formia train station

View from Formia train station

 

It’s a short walk down to the town from here, probably not ideal going the other direction as there are quite a few steps.

Some images from the buildings in Formia

Architecture from Formia

Architecture from Formia

 

Stunning colourful facades in Formia

Stunning colourful facades in Formia

 

Buildings in Formia

Buildings in Formia

 

Two sides to Formia

I found that the town was kinda split in two. One part with the train station and shops, local market and port. The other with more beachfront and less shops, more residential. The later was the area where we were staying in Formia.

The main town has grown considerably from an old fishing village as you can see from this photo below. The cafe where this menu is from (Bar Del Mare) used to be pretty much a waterfront business.

Old photo of Formia years ago

Old photo of Formia years ago

 

Today the entire area is a huge car park and market with the main road even further to the right of this photo. The building in the middle of both photos is clear to see the same one.

Formia 2016

Formia 2016

 

Formia images

Formia images

 

Formia Italy

Formia Italy

 

Formia is a small town and not one that I could imagine being on many travellers wish list. Having said that, it does have a certain drawcard in that it’s close to the islands of Ischia and Capri. Moni and I had planned on visiting them but due to Moni not feeling well for some time and the weather not to our liking we have postponed this adventure for a future date.

Boats in the harbour of Formia

Boats in the harbour of Formia

 

Formia port

You can catch one of the boats from the port in Formia over to Ischia & Capri.

The port in Formia

The port in Formia

 

To the right of the port, continues the coastline.

Formia waterfront

Formia waterfront

 

Formia beachfront and town

The coastline doesn’t compare to the costa blanca by any means but on sunny days is worth a visit.

Formia beachfront and town

Formia beachfront and town

 

We took these photos during a walk after having coffee on a fabulous day.

The coastline from Formia

The coastline from Formia

 

From above you have a couple of entry points to walk down to the beachfront level.

The bays along Formia waterfront

The bays along Formia waterfront

 

Tranquil Formia beach

Tranquil Formia beach

 

I have no idea how this place would be in summer, but the water is very clam and the bays are protected by the rock walls all along the coast.

Formia beachfront panorama

Formia beachfront panorama

 

Local cafes and bars

Our favourite place for coffee was Bar Pasticceria Amedeo, not because it was the best, it was just best situated on our way to the local supermarket where we did our shopping three times a week.

Bar Amedeo Formia

Bar Amedeo Formia

 

They did have a huge range of pastries and we sampled many.

Pastries and strong coffee

Pastries and strong coffee

 

another yummy pastry

another yummy pastry

 

More different pastries from Bar Pasticceria Amedeo in Formia

More different pastries from Bar Pasticceria Amedeo in Formia

 

However, the cafe / restaurant closest to us has the best Italian pastry ever…

Aragosta pastry (Sfogliatella) from Formia cafe

Aragosta pastry (Sfogliatella) from Formia cafe

 

These beauties are delicious, crispy flakey pastry filled with a whipped vanilla cream with a hint of lemon and dusted with icing sugar.

It was unfortunate for us that the Bar Pasticceria Troiano Snc closed for renovations after just a few visits.

Coffee & aragoste at the local cafe

Coffee & aragoste at the local cafe

 

Here are some of the sights from close to our apartment.

Hills in Formia

Hills in Formia

 

Behind our apartment are mountains and hills, the town of Formia lies between them and the sea.

Mountains around Formia

Mountains around Formia

 

In early January the same mountain had a covering of snow and it was bitterly cold when the wind whipped through the town.

Snow tops the mountains in Formia

Snow tops the mountains in Formia

 

This is the view from the apartment balcony with a double rainbow after some rains. That building opposite does finish abruptly like that.

Panorama view from our apartment in Formia

Panorama view from our apartment in Formia

 

We asked a few locals around on how to get to Gaeta from Formia using public transport and they were not so sure, probably because they would just drive there. We did manage to find out where to catch the bus from and how it works with the tickets.

Catching the local bus to Gaeta

The first time we got on, we asked for tickets and the driver just waved us in. The second time, we had figured that you actually need to buy bus tickets before getting on the bus. You have to buy them from the kiosks around town.

Lucky for us, there was a kiosk just nearby to the bus stop.

Bus stop in Formia to Gaeta

Bus stop in Formia to Gaeta

 

This is where you catch the bus to Gaeta. It’s in front of a few cafes on the square just up the road from the big Conad shop. Just keep an eye out for the shop sign you see above. Tickets were €1.10 each per journey.

Gaeta is a lovely little town and certainly worth a day trip if in the area.

Getting to know the locals

We enjoyed meeting some of the locals in our area especially as we were here for nearly three months. The supermarket staff got to know us quite well as did the staff at various cafes.

meats and cheese from the local supermarket in Formia

meats and cheese from the local supermarket in Formia

 

Shopping was always a treat as we sampled many products thanks to the helpful guys at the SISA supermarket.

We didn’t get to know the local hairdresser that well… All smiles before.

Hair cuts in Formia

Hair cuts in Formia

 

As the resulting cuts were a bit short especially as it was winter and cold, I almost had no hair. After a few snip snips it was zzzzzzzz with the razor and before I knew it, it was off. Talk about “short back n sides”

A weeeee bit short

A weeeee bit short

 

We had a sip of Grappa afterwards a chuckle at our new styles.

Coffee, grappa and pastry

Coffee, grappa and pastry

 

Small town prices or not?

One thing to note is that some items are great value for money and others are a total rip off.
Expensive over the counter medicine in Formia

Expensive over the counter medicine in Formia

 

The above medicine that we needed when Moni was not feeling too crash hot cost €42.80 which we found expensive.

Pasta varieties galore & expensive Heinz baked beans in Formia

Pasta varieties galore & expensive Heinz baked beans in Formia

 

The fresh packed pasta was great value but take a look at the price of a tin of baked beans.

All up, we had a nice time in Formia even though we didn’t get to do as much as planned. It wouldn’t be a must return place on the map for this long a stay, but ideal for a week or two.

Caffetteria Hormiae in Formia

Caffetteria Hormiae in Formia

 

I’ll finish with another cafe that is on the main road through the town. Caffetteria Hormiae has decent coffee and pastries with a small outside terrace, a nice place to sit and people watch on a warm day.

 

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