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Lago di Patria between history and myths

Lago Patria, a coastal lake of volcanic origin located in Campania, reveals its beauty in a harmonious symphony of compelling legends, nuanced history and uncontaminated nature that enchants visitors.

Visiting Lago Patria is a journey through the centuries, immersed in compelling legends and vibrant history. The shores of the lake offer enchanting views, while the ruins of Liternum tell stories of ancient civilizations.

The history of the lake

In the second half of the 5th century BC, the territory of Lago Patria was inhabited by the Osci, an ancient people of Campania. Farmers and fishermen came into contact with coastal cities of Greek origin, absorbing artistic influences that would shape the historical and artistic richness of the region.

Lake Patria has been at the center of multiple interests over the centuries, with a destiny closely intertwined with the Roman colony of Liternum. Founded in 194 BC. from a small nucleus of 30 families, Liternum became a cultural beacon and a point of reference for the surrounding communities.

The name “Patria” dates back to the 6th century AD, when Publius Cornelius Scipio, known as “the African” for his victory over Hannibal, built a villa on the shores of the lake. His tomb, engraved with the phrase “Ungrateful Fatherland, you will not have my bones”, gave the lake its current name, uniting the glorious past of Liternum with the vicissitudes of one of the greatest leaders of antiquity.

The villa of Publius Cornelius Scipio

The Villa of Scipio was the summer residence of the famous Roman general. Scipio, protagonist of the Punic Wars and victorious against the great Carthaginian leader Hannibal, chose this strategic position to enjoy the breathtaking landscapes and tranquility offered by Lake Patria and the surrounding nature.

The villa extended over a vast surface area and included luxurious residences, hanging gardens, spas, fountains and a private port. Its architectural design was cutting-edge for its time, with refined decorative elements and particular attention to integration with the surrounding natural environment.

The archaeological site of Liternum

Next to the villa, there is also the important archaeological site of Liternum. This Roman colony, founded in 194 BC. according to the records of Tito Livio, it was initially established to accommodate a nucleus of just 30 families. Over the centuries, this Roman colony grew in importance and prosperity, developing its own cultural and architectural identity.

Archaeological site of Liternum

The site includes the forum and an amphitheater which, marked by the tumultuous events of the Vandal sacking in 455 AD, bears witness to the past glories and tragedies that marked the decline of the colony.

Today, Liternum is a place of exploration and reflection, where history buffs and adventurers can walk among the ruins and breathe in the atmosphere of the past. The conservation of this heritage is paramount, and efforts are underway to preserve and protect evidence of Liternum’s glorious past.

The legends of Lake Patria

Lake Patria, located in the evocative setting of Campania, is surrounded by an atmosphere of mysticism and ancient legends that enrich its history. Through stories passed down from generation to generation, the lake becomes the stage for extraordinary adventures and fascinating mysteries.

One of the oldest legends surrounding Lake Patria tells of the invasion of the Leuterii giants in the Campi Flegrei. Hercules, the legendary hero, would have chased them and defeated them, giving rise to a mysterious water source on the beaches of Liternum.

Another story tells of a dragon which, according to Pliny, inhabited a cave in Scipio’s villa, guarding the general’s remains.

These mythical elements add a touch of the fantastic to Lago Patria, fueling the curiosity of those who venture into its vicinity.

In conclusion, Lago Patria is much more than a simple natural oasis; it is a crossroads of cultures, legends and history. Through its inherent beauty and intricate heritage, Lake Patria continues to capture hearts and minds, inviting adventurers to unlock the secrets that lie on its shores.