The most characteristic part of the city is Via Indipendenza, a long narrow alley from which smaller streets stretch. Walking into the alleys you are thrown in a complete different dimension, made up of small tall houses, balconies full of plants, clothes hanging everywhere, small shops, stalls and tradition surrounding you. In order to better understand the essence of this small street, we have to go back in 1897, when the Borgo of Gaeta became an autonomous municipality from the one of St. Erasmo. The new village was named Elena, in honour of the future Queen of Italy. The municipality last only 30 years, but today this part of the town is still known as Borgo Elena. Tourists love this area, full of local specialties respecting traditional recipes passed down from generation to generation. During the Christmas season the alleys, full of lights attract adult and children alike. Via Indipendenza is also the head quarter of small handicraft shops, where you can find cobblers and experts working leather, creating marvellous souvenirs and other high quality items, such as sandals and flip-flops. In the same street there are also other shops like bookshops and stylish boutiques. Turning back to history, proceeding along the alley there is the church of St. Giacomo, built at the end of the 16th century by fishermen. Damaged several times during sieges and bombings, the church was finally rebuilt in the 20th century. Walking around Borgo Elena you’ll understand why Gaeta is also called the town of a hundred churches. In fact, a little bit further from the church of St. Giacomo you’ll reach the Scalzi church, also known as church of Saints Cosma and Damiano (the marble altars of which were moved and stored for heritage protection reasons). Proceeding for further 200 metres, is the church of St. Cosma Vecchio, bombed flat during the Second World War and never rebuilt. Ending the tour of the churches, we’ll get at Via delle Bigne, a famous alley which leads to the characteristic Fish Market. In accordance with the centenary tradition, fishermen bring here their finest fish that has just been caught. From 4 in the afternoon people and small local restaurants owners can choose among different varieties of fresh Mediterranean fish.