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About sixty miles from Rome on the Via Appia, Terracina is not only the Gate to the Kingdom, it is the true Gate of the Sun. In fact, at this point we enter the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and, at the same time, the Eldorado of Italy.
The colours of the earth, the sky, the waters, the vineyards and the huge citrus groves, are those whic Gauigin found in islands of the South Seas.
For anyone coming from Rome, everything changes quite suddenly at Terracina; one has the impression of entering a countri outside time, except that the huge wall overhanging the sea and the city, topped by the mighty temple of Jove, reminds us of the ancient history of Terracina, city of the Vosci. The Via Appia used to pass over the Acropolis up there, Terracina was the key to this highway. Anyone holding Terracina held the Gate of the Sun. The whole history of the Roman conquest of Southern Italy hinges on this point, on this Acropolis which is more ancient than the Capitol itself, in this city which fought so bitterly against Roman domination and that later gave Rome her best soldiers, the most reliable, the most aggressive, those who never betrayed her ...who helped Quintus Fabius Maximus to wear down Hannibal, Marius to exterminate Teutons and Cimbrians, Caesar to conquer Gaul.
Anyone coming from Rome meets the sea at Terracina, a sea very different from that of Fregene, Castel Fusano or Anzio and Nettuno; this is the sea of Ulysses, very clear, of light pastel shades that the light softens and varies at every moment, colours so alive that they are visible even by night. The silken sea contrasts with the earth, wich seems of heavy brocade of a purplish colour; in its sumptuous folds grow, the most famous wines in Italy, the famous muscatel' of Terracina, the sweetest, fullest and most Greek grape in the Mediterranean...
By Curzio Malaparte (Writer),
from "Il Tempo" magazine, 14h Aug. 1956