Thursday, May 29, 2008
Day Trips from Rome: Lake Nemi's Festival of Strawberries
On June 7th and 8th of this year, the town of Nemi (named for the volcanic lake upon which it is perched) celebrates the Sagra delle Fragole, or Festival of Strawberries. The weekend will feature all kinds of events surrounding the folklore of the wild strawberry in the region, with music, parades and free strawberries in the piazza for all who come. The town is located southeast of Rome in the Alban Hills and is not only known for its strawberries but also as the location of an ancient shrine to Diana, the goddess of the forest. Lake Nemi was home to a luxurious floating temple of Diana built by the emperor Caligula. This floating temple was discovered by archaeologists and enshrined in a museum in the 1930s. Unfortunately, when the Nazis left Rome they burned the museum and the ancient ship. The museum was rebuilt and many of the preserved artifacts can be visited today.