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30 km along the Via Aurelia, at the village of Palidoro, the Via di San Carlo a Palidoro opens out towards the west, in the direction of the sea, and ends 4 km after Passoscuro.
The name Passoscuro, or Passo Oscuro (meaning "dark step" in Italian), is derived from that of a hunting trail and was mentioned in a Breve by Benedict XIII in 1724. This land of untamed beauty used to belong to the Pio Istitute of Santo Spirito, after they received it as an ancient donation from the Peretti family who owned Torre di Pietra and other surrounding land.
The modern town came into being in the 1920s as a small settlement for fishermen and "cockle pickers" and as a destination and shelter for hunters along the coast who often gathered at the "Le Gride" tavern.
After the Second World War more housing was built by fishermen and shepherds, most of them from Scauri; Passoscuro began to be visited frequently by swimmers from inland as well as from Rome, and the first small villas began to appear on the dunes alongside the houses of those who had moved into the area.
Passoscuro is the most northerly of the seaside resorts in the Comune of Fiumicino, and it is perhaps due to its slightly secluded position compared to major routes that the appeal of its wide beach with fine sand and sandy-bottomed shallow water has prevailed, making it perfect for inexperienced swimmers and children to bathe without risk. A destination for both day-trippers and those staying for a holiday, it offers services and accommodation at affordable prices.
From the Via San Carlo a Palidoro, before reaching Passoscuro, a street on the right hand side leads to the Ospedale Bambino Gesù hospital and to the Tower of Palidoro, located one hundred metres from the water's edge. This tower, built as a defence lookout against Saracen raids, was erected on Roman foundations and linked to the Palidoro Castle, of which it was an outpost. It was restored in the second half of the 16th century by the Pio Istitute of Santo Spirito, to which it belonged, and has undergone various alterations until the recent restorations, which included the replacement of the drawbridge with a fixed walkway. The tower is located in a magnificent position close to the pristine beach and is protected by coastal dunes rich in Mediterranean vegetation.
The beauty of the place is enhanced by a historical event: on the 23rd of September 1943 Vice Brigadier of the Carabinieri, Salvo d'Aquisto, was shot near the tower. The young man, who was serving at the barracks in Torre in Pietra, gave his life by taking responsibility for the killing of two Germans, and thus saved the 22 hostages that were destined for the firing squad in retaliation.
He was posthumously awarded a gold metal for his heroism, and every year as an act of remembrance a moving ceremony takes place at the site of his martyrdom, where a marble stele has been erected.
Torrimpietra is a town in the Roman countryside, located at 28 km along the Via Aurelia. The name seems to derive from the isolated tower located near the castle, now known as the Tower of Pagliaccetto. Described as early as 1053 in a papal bull issued by Pope Leo IX as "Turris in Preytea", a 1457 document refers to "house... Torre in petra".
At Isola Sacra we come across the burial site of the town of Porto. This group of well-preserved tombs, laying buried under the sand for centuries, is among the most well-known above-ground burial sites of the Roman world.
Due to its size and state of preservation it can be compared to Etruscan necropolises and to recently discovered early Christian cemeteries.
Cerveteri is known the world over for its necropolis, which is the most important Etruscan tomb and one of the largest classical archaeological complexes in the world. This makes it a must-see for an insight into the development of western civilisation, and provides each and every visitor with an unforgettable and evocative experience. The Cerite National Archaeological Museum is the perfect complement and displays important findings of particular interest. The unearthing of new remains last year is one of its most important discoveries.