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The Nemi’s Lake


This place is a paradise during summer for those which suffer from Rome’s sultry weather. Leaving the woods surrounding the via dei Laghi behind, you will cross Nemi’s narrow, picturesque streets, savouring the cool breeze of this place. In the public gardens Vicinio Fondi towering over the lake it is possible to eat the strawberries with cream observing one of the Lazio’s most beautiful panoramas.

The Nemi’s lake as a volcanic origin; it consists of two crater basins and the edge between them is covered by water and it has been eroded by water’s action. The lake is small and do not cover completely the two basins, as its northern side has been dried up during Roman Age for the construction of an outlet. This flows in Valle Ariccia, crossing underground the Genzano’s territory.
The construction of this artificial outlet caused a drastic reduction of water’s level (80 metres), so that the riparian vegetation began to grow on its shores. The lake is not very deep (31 metres) and reach the outlet’s level only during very rainy seasons. It is fed only by rain and underwater sources, often inactive. This area belongs to the Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani, and its southern part is a natural reserve (51,5 hectares). The lake as a surface of 167 hectares.

Area’s Natural Characteristics
Underwater plants, because of the depth’s characteristics, grow only near to the shore. There are canes, with thin canes and the scirpus, a lacustrine plant . On the lake’s shores there are a lot of iris’ yellow flowers and plane-trees. The lake’s internal sunny slopes are characterized by ilex trees; this kind of tree was the original vegetation of the whole area.
The lake because of its environmental and hydro-geological characteristics offered abundant plankton, and therefore it was a perfect habitat for fishes. During the 70s and the 80s, however, an high level of pollution of its water determined plankton’s drastic reduction. The environmental situation now is being gradually improved. A lot of fishes have been reintroduced, among which the coregonus lavaretus in 1925. This species disappeared from the lake’s water in 1976, as a consequence of the pollution. In 1974 to solve this problem, the ichthyological institute of Rome added the fish “re”, a species coming from South America, which adapted itself perfectly to the new environmental conditions. Among the autochthonous species there are the pikes, a predator fish waiting its victims hidden behind the water vegetation. During winter the lake hosts water-birds: coots, grebes, cormorants, ducks among which the tufted ducks and pochards. The birds inhabiting the shores vegetation are: water hens and the nightingales.

By car: From Rome cross via Appia nuova (S.S. 7 – slip-road 23 G.R.A.), turn to the left just after the centre of Genzano (piazzale Cina); otherwise cross via dei Laghi (S.S. 217) and after the crossroads for Rocca di Papa, and at the 14,400 kilometre of this road, turn to the right following the road sings towards Nemi. Near the centre of the town there are two parking areas.
By Bus: Rome-Velletri. (Cotral bus service phone number 800431784, phone number 067222153) from the underground station ‘Anagnina’ of the Linea A. It will take you an hour to reach Genzano (Bus stop: Piazza IV Novembre). From Genzano there is a bus for Nemi. It will take you 10-15 minutes to reach Nemi.
By Car: From piazza IV Novembre in Genzano, cross via Garibaldi. Once you reach piazza Dante Alighieri, cross via Diana, till reaching the lake’s shore.
By foot: From Nemi, through the path “Sentiero del Tempio di Diana”. After the centre of the town, cross the gate, turn to the left towards the two-kilometre-long path (there are explanatory boards) leading to the lake.

Botany, Fauna, landscape, geology.

There are two paths: “Sentiero del tempio di Diana” and “Sentiero Fontana Tempesta” on the right at a distance of 100 metres from the gate. This two-kilometre-long path leads to the fountain “Fontanta Tempesta”. For information phone to the Azienda …., via…, phone…,fax…, or to the Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani, at villa Barattolo, Via C. Battisti n.5, 00040 Rocca di Papa (Roma), phone 069495253/5, fax 069495254.

Tourist signs
There are tourist signs for the town and the lake, and didactic boards along the two paths starting from Nemi.

Further Information
Web sites:,,
Books: Bassani P., Cantiani G.P., Lotti L., 1995. Il Vallone di Tempesta. Town Nemi; AA.VV., 1996. Quattordici sentieri tra natura e archeologia dei Castelli Romani e Prenestini. Editore XI Townstà Montana del Lazio Castelli Romani e Prenestini, via della Pineta 69, Rocca Priora (RM); Bassani P., Lotti L., 1992. Alberi e arbusti del Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani. Edizioni del Parco, Rocca di Papa (RM); AA.VV., 1993. 14 Routes - Lazio. Guide geologiche regionali, vol. 5. Società Geologica Italiana, Roma; Marciano M., 1991. Guida archeologica del Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani. Edizioni del Parco, Rocca di Papa (RM).

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