Castellaro Lagusello, a village in the province of Mantua, faces a peculiarly shaped lake that looks like a giant heart.
In literature, the most famous simile between a lake and a heart is in “The Divine Comedy”, when Dante describes his comfort after crossing the “dark valley” where his otherworldly journey had begun:
Then was the fear a little quieted / That in my heart’s lake had endured throughout / The night, which had passed so piteously (Inferno, canto I, 19-21).
Dante (1313-1318) refers to the concave part of the cardiac muscle where blood pools and vital spirits gather, home to the passions and aspirations every man has.
The toponym Castellaro Lagusello includes both the words “lake” (‘Lagusello’ means “small lake”) and “castle” – an homage to the one built in the 13th century at the center of the village by the Scaligeri family, an aristocratic dynasty from Verona whose condottiero Cangrande would welcome Dante – exiled from Florence – only a few years later.
It is a beautiful town (member of “The most beautiful villages in Italy”), full of poetry and passion.