There are many small villages in Italy that are worth visiting, some for their natural beauty, others for their historical and cultural heritage. There are also some places where all these elements come together to create something magical and unique. This is the case of Nemi, a village of exceptional beauty located in the heart of the Parco dei Castelli Romani, of which it can be considered a true symbol. It is a small village that is a little gem overlooking one of the most characteristic lakes in Lazio.
Lake Nemi and its uncontaminated nature
The difference between Lake Nemi and many other lakes in the Lazio region lies in the fact that it has not yet been urbanised. Here nature is completely uncontaminated. There are few buildings on the edge of this volcanic lake, where green predominates.
Silence and peace reign supreme and this is the right place for those who want to relax by walking or cycling.
The best time of year for walking is spring, when the temperature on the lakeshore is ideal and it is not as hot as it is in summer, when the humidity increases. That is why, especially on weekends, Nemi is chosen from April to June as a destination not to be missed by those who love walking or cycling.
For those who want a cultural break, there is the Museo delle Navi Romane, which was built in the Fascist era on the shore of the lake to house the remains of Emperor Caligula's ships that had been extracted by draining the entire basin. A fire destroyed them, but the museum now houses what remains of them, as well as some reconstructions and other objects found in the area. The excavations of the temple of Diana Nemorense are also just a few steps away. Finally, the summer season is an opportunity to visit the beautiful village with the medieval Palazzo Ruspoli, which was the residence of the Counts of Tuscolo.
Museum of Roman Ships - Photo by Comune di Nemi
Strawberry village in spring
We have said that spring is the best season for strolling along the shores of Lake Nemi, and perhaps you can decide to walk straight down from the village to do so. The historic centre is waiting to be discovered, with its narrow alleyways leading up to the village church, the 16th-century Santa Maria del Pozzo. There are numerous small businesses selling strawberry products, the symbol of this village. In fact, it is in spring that the first harvests begin, and in the first days of June the entire village dresses up to celebrate this fruit, which has always been a source of pride and pride for the entire village.
This tradition, which has never been abandoned since 1922, involves the whole country, with parades, historical re-enactments, costume parades and lots of entertainment. Strawberries prepared in all possible ways are a must in the small typical restaurants. You can try the delicious strawberries with cream, or if you prefer, you can order strawberry tarts with cream and strawberries covered in icing sugar. Baskets of strawberries can be bought in almost every corner of the village, and in many cases they are freshly picked. Hundreds of tourists flock to this small village every year to take part in the festival, which lasts for a whole weekend.
The ideal season for walks in the woods
Nemi is one of the most interesting small villages of the Castelli Romani. Its history links it to Diana, goddess of hunting and the woods. There is no shortage of woods around this small town nestled in the Colli Albani. From Nemi there are several paths, regularly frequented by trekking and mountain biking enthusiasts. After the long winter pause, when the surrounding hills are often covered in snow, spring is the season for interesting itineraries, some of which take up historic routes, such as the one along the Via Sacra leading to Monte Cavo.