Nemi awaits you, with its picturesque little streets lined with craftsmen’s shops and balconies full of flowers. Crowning a spur of rock overhanging the Lake of Diana and dominated by the turreted Ruspoli Palace, Nemi is the most unspoiled town in the Castelli Romani. In ancient times, its woods of holm oak and chestnut trees were a centre of cult For two thousand years, the lake guarded the mystery of two ships and in its traditional restaurants, Nemioffers visitors succulent, time-honou-red dishes based on mushrooms and game. Visitors can enjoy strolling round the historic centre and exploring the natural trails in the surrounding woods. Many landscape artists from the 18th centuryonwards have painted its lake, the woods and its narrow streets. And we mustn’t forget Lord Byron who immortalised Nemi in Child Harold’s Pilgrimage
This is a charming town overlooking the lake of Nemi which was once a volcanic crater. The imposing Palazzo Ruspoli, the hanging garden and the belvedere delight it. Two thousand years ago the lake hosted the spectacular feasts of the Emperor Caligula, who had two enormous barges eventually destroyed, but we can admire a small scale reconstruction in the Ship Museum. The enchanting beauty of this place has been re- presented by many artists. It is here that Gounod composed his famous Ave Maria. Also the “Emissario” tunnel is an interesting sight to visit. In June the town celebrates its famous strawberry crops with a colourful festival.
THE SHIPS And now we come to Caligula. He was brought up in Egypt and was a follower of the goddess lsis (another personification of the Moon, like Diana). The emperor came especially to Lake Nemi to carry out the rites which took place on two barges. For many years, the museum remained closed, but now after restoration and restructuring carried out by the Lazio Region Department of Archaeology Heritage, it has re-opened. On display are two scale models, a fifth of the original size, faithfully reconstructed on the basis of the many technical drawings made by Navy engineers at the time of the recovery operation. There are also panels illustrating detail, and a few of the surviving objects, as well as pieces from the Temple of Diana. In the museum garden you can admire the enormous curving stem-post and part of the hull of one of a recent reconstructed of one of the ships by master shipbuilders of Torre del Greco shipyards, near Naples