Seaport and resort town (pop., 2001 prelim.: 36,468) southeast of Rome, Italy. It was founded, according to legend, by Anteias, son of Odysseus and Circe. It was a stronghold of the Volsci in the 5th century BC. Conquered by Rome in 338 BC, Antium (as it was then known) became a resort for wealthy Romans. Nero and Caligula were born there. Destroyed by the Saracens in the 9th–10th centuries, it remained virtually deserted until 1698, when Pope Innocent XII built a new port nearby. In 1944 it was the scene of a bloody but successful amphibious landing by Allied forces during World War II.
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Anzio is a city and resort on the coast of the Lazio region of Italy, about 33 miles south of Rome. Well known for its seaside harbor setting, it is a fishing port popular with tourists and a departure point for ferries and hydroplanes to the Pontine Islands of Ponza, Palmarola and Ventotene. The city bears great historical significance as the site of a crucial Allied landing during World War II. Anzio has been awarded the Blue Flag for the quality of its beaches.
Remains of Roman villas are conspicuous all along the shore, both to the east and to the north-west of the town. Many works of art have been found: the Fanciulla d'Anzio, the Borghese Gladiator (Louvre Museum) and the Apollo Belvedere in the Vatican were all discovered in the ruins of villas at Antium.
Of the villas, the most famous was the Villa of Nero at Antium which cannot be certainly identified, but is generally placed at the so-called Arco Muto, where remains of a theatre (discovered in 1712 and covered up again) also exist. It extended along the coast of the Capo d'Anzio some 800 meters of seafront. Nero razed the former villa on the site, where Augustus had received a delegation from Rome to acclaim him Pater patriae ("Father of his Country") to rebuild on its foundations a villa on a more imperial scale, which was used by each Emperor in turn, up to the Severans. Of the famous temple of Fortune (Horace, Od. i. 35) no remains are known.
In Anzio can be found the Anzio Beachhead British Military Cemetery and a Beachhead Museum. The American Military Cemetery is in Nettuno. About 8 km north of the town there is a WWF park with sulfur springs and a medieval tower, Tor Caldara. All along the coast a large number of beaches and sea resorts can be found, including hotels and the famous fish restaurants of the port of Anzio. The city once hosted a Casino that is no longer active and now hosts cultural events. In the southern part of the town, close to the border with Nettuno, are many Italian art nouveau style houses.