Lake Paola in the words of Marinetti and Gregorovius
Lake Paola (or Sabaudia Lagoon) is a 400-hectare basin of salty water, about twenty kilometers around, located inside Circeo National Park, in the province of Latina.
The strip of dunes that separates it from the sea is barely 400 meters wide and covered in shrubland (or, more specifically, “macchia”). Thus, German historian Ferdinand Gregorovius saw the lake as “a sad and gray body of water between plain shores, a real maremma lake that goes many miles inland” (translated from “Pellegrinaggi in Italia”, 1856-1877).
Lake Paola and the nearby coastal lakes Caprolace, Monaci and Fogliano are part of a unique wetland ecosystem where many species of migratory birds spend the winter and build their nests.
“Sweet destination of intelligent tourism as well as a fervid invitation to gorgeous navigations” was the bombastic description Filippo Tommaso Marinetti gave in 1934: “here is Sabaudia, between forests and holms and wild oaks […] and the seductive semi-marine Lake Paola, dreaming it could reflect its island friends, so close and so far at the same time.”
Let’s go back to Gregorovius for a final, mental picture: “The blazing noon sun shone on the leaden lake, in the deep and wild solitude of the swamps and woods: the bank’s tall reeds and tamarisks barely moved; not a single boat appeared on the quiet surface; this dark and solemn stillness had something incredible to it.”