Sunday, July 3, 2011
After Deborah arrived back home, we drove to Nemi for lunch one day. It's a lovely, quaint town in the Alban Hills, one of the Castelli Romani. It sits perched above Lake Nemi, and across the Lake you can see Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer residence.
In antiquity the grove around the lake was the site of one of the most famous of Roman cults and temples, that of Diana Nemorensis, also known as "Diana of the Wood." Some poets referred to Lake Nemi as “Diana's Mirror.”
Nemi is famous for its wild strawberries, which are smaller and sweeter than commercially grown varieties. Nemi's strawberries are grown on the sides of the volcanic crater, which creates a microclimate that retains the warmth of the sun and provides a wind shield.
We ate a delicious lunch at one of Deborah's favorite trattorias, and the food was incredibly satisfying. Too full for dessert, we bought a few tarts made with Nemi's wild strawberries and they were elegantly packaged for us to take home.
They were so exquisite, we savored every bite, and I wish we had bought more than one apiece. Now I have a good reason to go back to Nemi.