Sometimes, the “magic number” is two. Lake Pilate has two separate basins, only vaguely joined in a so-called “telescope” shape in periods of abundant rainfall. It is named after Pontius Pilate, who Dante places in Hell among the Uncommitted, who are punished for not deciding on which side of a dilemma they stood. Dilemmas, of course, always pose us in front of the choice between two options.
According to legend, the corpse of the prefect of Judaea who presided over Jesus’s trial finally ended up in the waters of this glacial lake in Marche – one of the very rare Alpine-type lakes in the Apennines – after various failed attempts at sinking it in rivers and lakes in Italy and Switzerland.
Over time, Lake Pilate – known in antiquity as “Sibyl’s Lake”, bringing in another element of duality, tied to ancient prophecies’ ambiguity – has been associated with a number of similarly unsettling legends.
In reality, however, it is a simply charming view, and a place of great naturalistic interest as the home of Chirocephalus marchesonii, a small crustacean that is endemic only to this lake, and cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
The little creature, apparently, has been able to choose its home with determination.