Italy ~ Nemi

This August, we were invited to a friend’s wedding in the small town of Bracciano, situated in the province of Rome, Italy. As we were in the Lazio region for a few days, we decided to make the most of our stay and visit a few of the scenic lakeside towns in the area.

Invigorated by our delightful walk around Castel Gandolfo (read about it here), we decided that our destined Bracciano hotel could wait a wee while longer, and so we ventured onward to another village-by-a-lake, the nearby Nemi. This little commune is famed for its variety of wild strawberries that are grown in the surrounding volcanic crater around its namesake Lago Nemi. The town also holds annual festivals to celebrate its fruity produce during which a procession takes place known as the sfilate delle fragola, where girls and women in traditional dress distribute strawberries to passersby.

I’m rather embarrassed to say that we foolishly did not partake of Nemi’s renowned ruby fruit. It somehow didn’t cross our weary sun-stricken minds at the time despite the town’s best efforts to tempt visitors to indulge in all things strawberry; every which way we turned there were strawberry themed shops with baskets full of the fruits on display, and that’s not to mention the giant cardboard strawberry cutouts hanging from the walls and lampposts. What more could the poor town have done? Neon strawberry lights blinking EAT ME EAT ME EAT ME!? At the very least we can say that gullible consumer sheep we are most certainly not.

Our one big Nemi takeaway was how amazing the drinking water was. Entering the town, we came across a striking drinking fountain adorned with a serpent headed Medusa, who seemed to invite us thither with her beguiling stony stare. Without a hint of hyperbolization – well OK maybe a slight hint for anecdotal effect – the water spouting out of the old Gorgon’s taps tasted divine; cool as ice with a slight natural bubbly, fizzy quality to it. We greedily supped away like desert nomads whose water supply had run out weeks ago. The more water we quaffed, the more we wanted to drink.

All photos by Davinia Marie.

Lago Nemi and the surrounding agricultural land. Due to the heat, there was a palpable glaze rising from the trees all across the opposite shoreline.
Already on the list of our potential retirement homes.
Strawberry Nirvana.
We loved these windows that form part of the fortifying walls as you walk into the town.
Water fit for gods and Gorgons.
Shh! Don’t stir the octogenarian resting among the geraniums.
Note the not-so-subliminal strawberry patterned tablecloths.
We spotted a number of these colourful eggs all around the restaurant we lunched at.
Liquor anyone? We tried a few of these free samples, which went down nicely after a filling lunch. They look sickly sweet but were in fact surprisingly subtle saccharine-wise, sort of like creamy fruit yogurts with a kick of alcohol.
The fortifying walls surrounding the town.
Alive and kicking in Strawberry City.
Fancy looking out your bedroom window to that view every morning.

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