- ACTIVITY DURATION: 6 HOURS
- Skype / Tel enquiries: +1 339 225 9955
- by ™ Eternal Tours Rome
- LOCATION: SOUTH OF ROME
- E-mail enquiries: email@example.com
- a subsidiary of ™ In Rome Tours
Get set for a drive to destinations from a distant past, where vulcanology meets mythology and gastronomy in the heartland of Roman culture. History reawakens as we walk in the footsteps of Diana Nemorensis, the Emperor Caligula, German infantry, and a long list of distinguished artists and writers.
The owner of Eternal Tours Rome lived in the area for almost two years from 2004. He has described "Crater Lakes of the Gods" as being the classic day trip from Rome for Romans and travellers alike.
On arrival in Ariccia by private car from the peaceful railway station close nearby, enjoy thrilling views of the Tyrrhenian Sea from the foot of Monte Cavo.
The green mountain hides several ancient Roman and Pagan temples on it's wooded slopes, and we drive up to the summit where a Wehrmacht military base was captured by American soldiers. Here, you'll be shown the magnetic properties of the mountain. Expect an X-Files experience!
Your first stop per se is the monumental three-tiered arched viaduct that survived Allied bombings in 1944. The damaged structure featured in the Robert Mitchum and Peter Falk movie, "Anzio" (1968).
In ancient times, this was Appia Antica, and the ascent to Ariccia was very steep. A short walk leads to Piazza di Corte and Santa Maria Assunta in Cielo, designed by Bernini. Palazzo Chigi will inspire before you sit down for a traditional lunch to remember.
This is what makes Ariccia so popular with the locals and all Romans - porchetta d'Ariccia served with local cheese, casareccio bread, olive oils and a wholesome dose of wine from the vineyards of Val d'Ariccia.
Ariccia has a fascinating story to tell, immortalized in literature by Sir James George Frazer in his magnum opus "The Golden Bough", and in Romantic period paintings such as "Ariccia Sunset (c. 1828) by Joseph William Mallord Turner, and "The Well in the Wood at Ariccia" (1831) by Ludwig Richter.
Renowned landscape artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot painted Ariccian scenes more than once, as did many of his contemporaries. Goethe visited in 1787 en route to Naples, and he wrote about Ariccia with zeal.
Returning to the main square, meet your driver again for the short transfer to Nemi.
You will have ample time to wander through the old town and take in spectacular views of the crater lake. Stop and sip aromatic coffee with fruit sweets, wash your hands in the Fountain of the Gorgon, then catch the light from the Terrace of Lovers.
In season (peaks May - June), the little strawberries for which Nemi is widely known are everywhere. Less well known is that strawberry pizza and strawberry risotto are not flights of fancy, they do exist in Nemi and can be washed down with various blends of strawberry liqueur, naturally.
Did the tears of Venus transform the blood of Adonis into strawberries native to Nemi? Who can tell. What we do know is that Nemi has been painted and described in classic literature for centuries past.
Soon after leaving Nemi, walk awhile in meadows until you happen across the sacred Temple of Diana Nemorensis. An obscure location that was abandoned for a millennium, but a precious moment in time on your journey. Statues of Diana the Huntress can be found in many towns and cities today, but this is where it all began.
At the station, bid farewell to your driver then board the train that will carry you back to Rome. You will have a bag full of street food and fond memories of Ariccia, picked up on the way down from Nemi.
Rated 5 / 5 by Anna P on March 30th, 2019 We were ready to book a similar day trip through TripAdvisor but searched some more and contacted Eternal Tours. We learned that the owner lived near these lakes for some years and studied the Cult of Diana Nemorensis while he was there! That was enough for us to book. From Rome by train to the lakes we met our driver and from then on it was just a really lovely day of beautiful scenery, lakeside walks, wines, and plentiful local fare which is Porchetta d'Ariccia, peppery cheeses, the best breads we've ever eaten and olive oils from the land right beside where we sat. Eternal included three food stops - one filling lunch, one sweet stop in Nemi, and one street food stop in front of the church dome and fountains in Ariccia. Thank you!
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