A lake is a landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.Henry David Thoreau
The lakes of Naples and its province are natural beauties that make the landscape and the nature in which they are immersed precious. There are many lakes to visit in Campania and contribute to making the landscape unique for lovers of lake tourism.
Among the beauties of the Campania lakes, I cannot help mentioning the magnificent Gulf of Pozzuoli and its lakes such as Lake Lucrino, Lake Fusaro and Lake Averno.
Lake Averno: from nature to mythology
Lake Averno lies inside an extinct volcanic crater, born 4,000 years ago, and has always been shrouded in mystery thanks to its legendary origins dating back to antiquity. In fact, at the time of the gods, it was believed that the lake of Averno held the gateway to the underworld in its waters. Its natural conformation has favoured the birth of the myth, in fact, the strong sulfurous exhalations that came from the ground around its waters did not allow the life of the animals, so that, the name Averno derives from the Greek άορνος (without birds).
After a few centuries, the lake was inhabited also becoming an actual nerve centre of the Roman empire with a shipyard and military to house the imperial fleet, the famous Portus Julius of Agrippa. Among the monuments, surrounding the area, are the majestic temple of Apollo, also mentioned in Virgil's Aeneid, and the Grotta di Cocceio, a tunnel dug by the Romans for military purposes.
Lake Fusaro: discovering the Casina Vanvitelliana
Lake Fusaro or even Lake Acherusio is one of the largest lakes in Campania and is located in the homonymous hamlet of Fusaro near Bacoli. Here too the origins are shrouded in mystery, so much so that the ancients placed in this area, the Acheron river and its feared infernal swamp. Also mentioned by Alexandre Dumas in his "Le Comte de Monte-Cristo", Lake Fusaro was formed after the closure of the stretch of sea that linked Bacoli to Torregaveta.
Easily accessible with the Cumana line, Lake Fusaro preserves one of the architectural pearls of the genius of Luigi Vanvitelli, the Casina Vanvitelliana, a hunting and fishing casino commissioned by King Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, who often devoted himself to these practices in the vicinity of the lake.
Lake Lucrino: the Roman Empire spas
Last, but not least, Lake Lucrino. Located a stone's throw from Lake Fusaro, so much so that for several years during the Roman hegemony were connected to create an internal harbour. Unlike the other lakes, Lake Lucrino was formed due to the movement of the sea currents that created a natural fill, closing the isthmus where the lake is today, even if the mythological origins want this small strip of land to be made by Hercules on his journey to Cuma so that the street took the name of via Herculea.
Famous since ancient times for the presence of some thermal complexes, which were all destroyed by the incredible eruption that brought to light the new Mount in the first half of the sixteenth century, Lake Lucrino hosted dozens of Roman villas including that of Cicero, known as Academia, and also a hospital built by the Angevin king, Carlo D'Angiò.
Disappeared for several centuries due to the phenomenon of bradisismo, Lake Lucrino today looks like a small body of water which overlooks several remains of the civilizations that it hosted during the centuries, although considerably reduced compared to the ancient era. In fact, there are still operating the thermal complexes known as the "Stufe di Nerone", located at the foot of the Monte delle Ginestre, where in addition to the systems of today, some structures from the Roman era are in use and visible.
Relaxation and gastronomy on the shores of Lake Lucrino
These are just some of the lakes you can visit in Campania, embellished by the beauties surrounding them and giving you unique landscape tours between a nature walk and the flavours of the Phlegraean land with many places to taste the specialities of the Campania region. To taste the flavours of Campania in a modern way accompanied by the beauty of a lake, I can't help but mention Akademia - Cucina & more which is a restaurant and cocktail bar in Pozzuoli, on the shores of Lucrino lake. A structure that can give you a journey through the great gastronomic tradition of Campania and the innovations that modern times have brought.
And you? Are you passionate about lakes and breathtaking landscapes? Run to Naples to lose yourself in the beauty of its lakes.