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12/05/2011

CUMA AND AVERNO LAKE. SINCE ALWAYS SACRED PLACES


The fame of the Sibilla Cumana is lost in ancient times.  
In Greek and Roman mythology, she was a woman of whom Apollo fell in love and from which she had been given the power of divination.
This girl has always been a mythical depicted as priestess, not only of Apollo (the Sun god) 
but also of Hecate (the Moon goddess).
Sybil is a name of obscure origin: the meaning seems to be that of "black virgin" to indicate the chastity of the Vestal, who lived in the den of a cave, in a dark forest. 
The old prophet was doomed to live in a state of great suffering, caused by the superior strength that characterized her gift: 


 in times of predictions it went into a frenzied trance and was struck with profound grief and anguish. In those moments of torment the voice of Sibyl merged with the god Apollo, and she became a messenger of the god  who wanted to communicate to his devotees.


The priestess usually wrote her responses in hexameters, on palm leaves, but the wind coming into the cave arranged to scatter everywhere, so as to make it very difficult to interpret the answer.
Its thanks to her that was reinforced, in ancient times, the worship of the god Apollo: people venerated her, because she was able to calm the turmoil that marked the difficult moments in the history of ancient Rome.

 
At Cuma,  in the Pozzuoli area (not far from Naples), you can visit the ancient home of the Sibyl: a funerary monument of probable source dug into the tuff, perhaps inspired by

Cretan-Mycenaean.
This is a gallery of the trapezoid shape, which has lost the original entrance.



The outer side has 6 large openings, through which light enters the tunnel.
On the east side is open a second gallery which consists of three rectangular rooms arranged in a cross, forming three tanks. 
These are supplied by a channel in which, they say, the Sibyl used to wash herself and, after wearing a long robe, she went into the inner room of the cave. 
Once came here, she sat on a throne, went into a trance, including pain and suffering, and wrote her prophecies.


At the end of the tunnel is a rectangular chamber with the highest "ceiling" and three large niches.  
There is a hallway on the left side, closed by a gate that leads into a room divided into 3 smaller cells: here, usually, the prophecies were uttered.
The first two sections of the gallery are now open, but the rest is very well preserved.


According to one of the many legends, who enters the cave of the Sibyl, and stay inside there exactly one year, is aware of all her secrets, but who remains there even one day longer he would remain imprisoned until the day of Judgement.


Right next to the famous "cave of the Sibyl" is the legendary Lake Averno, with dark green water and elliptical shape, which occupies a volcanic crater, where the Romans placed the entrance to Hades kingdom.



Jacob Pilipp Hacker, paint, Averno
The lake is partially surrounded by steep walls and covered by forests; 



but, in an area of gently sloping, its banks are covered with terraced vineyards.


 
The popular belief says that anyone who visits the shrine of the Sibyl, just came out, must throw in this lake a sheet of paper wrapped around a rock. 
In the note should be written a message for the deads, with requests for help with happiness, love and good fortune.


 It is said that once the water was exhaling carbonic acid gas which did not allow the lives of birds, hence the name Avernus, from the greek Aornon, a place without birds.
Averno in antiquity was synonymous with hell. 
In fact, Virgil, in the sixth book of the Aeneid, describes it as the entrance to the underworld.


 
Even in Roman times, under Agrippa, the lake was transformed into one of the ports of Cumae, the port Julius, in addition to other pre-existing, which was on the sea, where is the current lake Lucrino


 
At the same time of the creation of the new port, other two tunnels were dug: one, the Cave of Cocceius, connected the Julius port to the city of Cuma, while the other is
represented by Sybil's cave, dug into the hill that separates the Lucrino lake from the Averno Lake.

 
Coming here you feel like a magical place where, thanks to the ancient ruins, Nature combines with History, creating a superb spectacle.


 
Along the eastern shore of the lake are still visible remains of the great thermal hall known as the "Temple of Apollo."


Nearby Pozzuoli, you can also take a walk among the ruins of the Temple of Serapis (Serapeum more properly). It represents a rare example of the phenomenon of bradyseism (typical of this area).


 
ZUCCHINI WITH EGG AND CHEESE
Ingredients:
for 6 people
1 kg. Zucchini
Oil
50 gr. of lard
2 Eggs
Parmesan
Parsley
Salt
Pepper
Onion

Preparation:
Wash and cut in little pieces the zucchini. Saute the onion in the oil and pork fat and pour the zucchini. Cook slowly. Beat the eggs with the parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper and add to zucchini. Leave on the heat a few minutes and serve.




2 comments:

Mike said...

Congrats! What a dream tour. So gorgeous and fun. and all that you enjoyed all time there. Great. Keep it up!
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Snowcoast Boards said...

Italy is a nice place! Looks like you had a great vacation Connie! Have you also tried their beaches? SUP Red Deer