“The Mirror of Venus”, and Pantelleria’s quiet life
Located in the gorgeous Sicilian island of Pantelleria, the so-called “Mirror of Venus” is a pseudo-volcanic lake inside an ancient caldera some 500 meters in diameter, gurgling with the carbon dioxide from the thermal springs that feed it with water as hot as 50-60 °C.
Writer Cesare Brandi described it so:
“It’s a small lake, similar to Albano [near Rome – editor’s note], but much smaller, like a large fountain. Green encloses it all around, and its reflection makes water appear darker, as if molten: the Great Mount is almost supine, reclined, taking a footbath.”
“All around the springs of hot lye-like water, with the small rust dribble that is all that’s left of the volcano’s anger. There should be the remains of a Carthaginian sanctuary here – one of those horrible ones, full of children’s bones – but nobody could show me where.”
“You can never forget the lake’s bucolic look, the sense of a long faraway sunset, of calm and settled life, oblivious, after the elements have ended their war” (translated from “Terre d’Italia”, Bompiani, Milan 2006).