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Virtual Tour

Lake Canterno: a natural reserve of special origin

In the heart of the Ernici Mountains, near the towns of Ferentino, Fiuggi and Fumone, Lake Canterno has an original story to tell. The lake was formed in the early 19th century, when the waters submerged pre-existing cultivated fields. Its level was never stable and it alternated between times of flood and times of total or partial dryness.

Discovering Canterno Lake, the old “ghost lake” that suddenly appeared and disappeared

The lake would fill and empty depending on whether the Pertuso, a hole in the ground that drained its water, was free or clogged with debris.

When the water pressure was too high, the Pertuso would release and the lake would dry up. Because of its sudden changes, many called it the “ghost lake.” In 1943 a reconnaissance of Pertuso revealed the existence of an underground cave, a karst cavity where water poured in when the lake was dry.

This natural cycle was interrupted with the artificial closure of Pertuso to produce electricity.

The richness of lake fauna and flora create a habitat worth a trip

Today, due to karst phenomena, small variations in the water level can be observed empirically by looking at a small solitary sapling. The latter is located about forty meters from the shore: in times of flood it is covered by water, while it is completely uncovered when there is a drought.

The lake is not very large but has a great variety of animal species. We briefly mention the beautiful birds to be spotted in flight such as resident and passage birds. Among the aquatics: the cormorant, heron, coot, mallard and stilt-bird.

There are also many birds of prey such as: the owl, tawny owl, cuckoo, barn owl, buzzard, kestrel, sparrowhawk, hawk, and black kite. Anglers are attracted to carp, eel, tench and perch. Finally on the banks it is not uncommon to see: foxes, martens, squirrels, wild boars, porcupines, badgers, moles, hedgehogs and hares.

A true gem, little known and far from tourist flows, in southern Lazio.

At least seven good reasons to visit Lake Canterno in full relaxation

A hint of flora: over a dozen different species of grasses, some very rare; colorful flowers from the daisy and poppy families. Trees: willows, poplars, turkey oaks, oaks, chestnut trees, pines and many others. Difficult to summarize the attractions and thus the reasons for a relaxing visit typical of fine weather weekends.

We will try by points:

1) flora and fauna,
2) unique photo set (as seen here),
3) low tourist crowding (before this post!).
4) pleasant walks, including in the surrounding area, of all durations;
5) clean air particularly appreciated by citizens;
6) silence due to the ban on land, water and air motors.
And last but not least:
7) the very pleasant little restaurants on the shores of the lake and in the vicinity with the typical dishes of the lacustrine cuisine and of the Ciociaria area.

This whole area of southern Lazio deserves to be better known, Lake Canterno is the icing on a very tasty cake. Besides, the ghost is gone, there are solid realities to never stop appreciating.

With the Blog of Rome and Latium Region, Around Rome guides you to discover the territories for the pleasure of satisfying curiosity and putting culture at the service of people and businesses.

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Edited by il NETWORK text by Andrea Franchini | photo by Ezio Bocci

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