Comune di Ardea
The church of St. Peter
The church of St. Peter
Location of Ardea
Ardea is located in Italy
Location of Ardea in Italy
Ardea is located in Lazio
Ardea (Lazio)
Coordinates: 41°37′N 12°33′E / 41.617°N 12.550°E / 41.617; 12.550
Metropolitan cityRome (RM)
FrazioniBanditella, Nuova Florida, Castagnetta, Castagnola, Centro Regina, Nuova California, Colle Romito, Lido dei Pini, Marina di Ardea, Rio Verde, Tor San Lorenzo, Tor San Lorenzo Lido, Montagnano.
 • MayorMario Savarese (Movimento 5 Stelle)
 • Total50 km2 (20 sq mi)
37 m (121 ft)
 (31 December 2017)[2]
 • Total49,663
 • Density990/km2 (2,600/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code06
Patron saintSt. Peter the Apostle
Saint dayJune 29
WebsiteOfficial website

Ardea is an ancient town and comune (municipality) in the Metropolitan City of Rome Capital, 35 kilometres (22 miles) south of Rome and about 4 kilometres (2 miles) from today's Mediterranean coast.

The economy is mostly based on agriculture, although, starting from the 1970s, industry has played an increasingly important role.

City gate


Ardea is one of the most ancient towns in western Europe, founded during the 8th century BC. According to tradition it was the capital of the Rutuli, and it is described as such in the Aeneid.

In 509 BC Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the king of Rome, sought unsuccessfully to take the town by storm, and then commenced a siege of the town.[3] However, the siege was interrupted by the revolution which resulted in the overthrow of the king and the establishment of the Roman republic. One of the leaders of the revolution, Lucius Junius Brutus, came to the camp of the Roman army at Ardea and won the army's support for the revolution.

In 443 BC the Volscians laid siege to Ardea. The siege was soon broken by Roman troops under the leadership of Marcus Geganius Macerinus.

After the Roman conquest, Ardea was most often mentioned in connection with the Via Ardeatina, one of the consular roads, to which it gave its name.

During the Second Punic War, it was one of the few cities that refused military support to Rome, and, after the Roman victory, was deprived of its autonomy. In the 3rd2nd centuries BC it decayed until, in the Imperial Age, it was scarcely populated at all. The 1st century agricultural writer Columella possessed estates there.[4]

A view of the ancient agger

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Ardea was abandoned. It returned to grow only after the 9th century AD. Its castle in 1118 housed Pope Gelasius II and was later contended among various feudal barons of the area. In 1419 Pope Martin V assigned it to his kinsmen, the Colonna family, who sold it in 1564 to the Cesarini.

In 1816 it became a frazione of Genzano. Starting from 1932, the surrounding area was drained and Ardea began to flourish again, becoming a frazione of Pomezia starting from its foundation around 1948 and an independent municipality in 1970.

Main sights

Remains of the ancient city include the old defensive agger, dating to the 7th century BC and later (4th century BC) updated to larger walls. Archaeological excavations have brought to light four temples, of unknown dedication. Part of the pavement of a basilica (c. 100 BC) have also been found in the area of the ancient Forum. Other sights include:

International relations

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Italy

Ardea is twinned with:


  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Lucius Tarquinius Superbus". 2007-02-01. Retrieved 2013-03-25.
  4. ^ Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella (1745). L. Junius Moderatus Columella of Husbandry, in Twelve Books: and his book, concerning Trees. Translated into English, with illustrations from Pliny, Cato, Varro, Palladius and other ancient and modern authors. London: A. Millar. p. 130.
  5. ^ il michele. "Stefanina Aldobrandini Ricevimenti". Archived from the original on 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2013-03-25.
  6. ^ "Home – Raccolta Manzù". Archived from the original on 2013-03-06. Retrieved 2013-03-25.
  7. ^ "Italy – Lazio: Towns Twinning". 1998-04-26. Retrieved 2013-03-25.