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WorldMediterraneanItalyTyrrhenian CoastFormia

Formia, Italy

41°15.17′N, 13°36.78′E Chart icon.png
Pontoons in Formia harbour

The harbour of Formia lies three miles NE of the peninsula of Gaeta on the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy. A well-known harbour and resort during the Roman era, it was the supposed site of the martyrdom of St Erasmus (or St Elmo), the patron saint of sailors, during the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian. Outside the town on the route of the ancient Via Appia is a tomb reputed to be that of the famous Roman jurist and orator Marcus Tullius Cicero, who was assassinated in his villa here in 43 BC. Formia was badly damaged during the Battle of Anzio in World War II and the harbour area has been substantially rebuilt since then. The harbour contains a series of pontoons normally fully occupied by local yachts, but a yacht in transit can anchor moor to the breakwater in good shelter (although strong SE winds cause a surge).


British Admiralty


Winds along the Tyrrhenian Coast of Italy are generally light in the summer months. The most notable feature is a SW seabreeze that kicks in late morning and blows at little more than Force 2 - 4 until the evening. Thundery conditions are not infrequent during early Spring and Autumn, and associated winds can sometimes reach gale force and kick up a substantial sea. In winter, gales can blow from both NW and S and entry to and exit from many of the harbours along the coast can become hazardous.

Sources for weather information:

  • There is a continuous (computerised voice) weather forecast on VHF 68 - first in Italian and then followed with an English translation
  • The same forecast is given in Italian and English on VHF coastal stations following a notification on channel 16
  • Navtex weather forecasts are broadcast from stations at La Garde (Toulon), Roma and Cagliari (Sardinia)


List popular passages/routes, timing, etc.



Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


The rocky promontory of Gaeta, three miles SW of the harbour, is conspicuous from some distance. Closer in, a mediaeval tower to the E of the harbour and the harbour breakwater are evident. The harbour is entered from ENE between the long outer breakwater and a short eastern mole.


A series of pontoons have been installed in the NW corner of the harbour. However, these are private and invariably filled with local boats. Visiting yachts normally have to berth on the inside of the E mole, where there are depths of around 3.0 metres at the root and 5.0 metres at the end. You will need to use your anchor here to go stern or bows-to the quay. There are no facilities on the mole.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs



None. Anchorage is forbidden in the harbour.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.


Boatyard W of the harbour. Hard standing. Slipway. Crane (20 T). Most engine, electrical and electronic repairs. Wood and fiberglass hull repairs. Divers.

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Fuel station on the quay. No other facilities.

Things to do Ashore


There are few traces of Formia’s former glories that remain today, following the attentions of the Allies during World War II. The Roman tower tomb outside the town, reputed to be that of the famous Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero, is worth a visit. In the town there are the remains of a first century BC Roman cistern, reputedly one of the largest ever discovered.

Mediaeval tower near Formia harbour

Grocery & Supply Stores

Provisions shops in the town, a few minutes walk away.


Numerous restaurants and pizzerias in the town.




Motorbike & Car Rentals

Garbage Disposal

Bins close to the harbour.


  • Buses to Rome


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


References & Publications

See Italy.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

Verified by

Date of member's last visit to Formia and this page's details validated:

  • Data compiled from web research (please update if possible) --Athene of Lymington 17:04, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

This page has an outline in place but needs completing. Please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to suggest further content or alternatively, if you feel confident to edit this page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Lighthouse, Athene of Lymington

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