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Atina and the Val di Comino

Posta Fibreno

The village of Posta Fibreno is perched on on a rocky ledge and has a splendid view of the valley and lake below. The village was founded during the 6th century AD when the area was invaded by the Barbarians. The local people decided to move to higher ground and a castle was built protected by strong walls and towers.

The lake of Posta Fibreno has an elongated curved shape and is now a protected Nature Reserve of approximately 400 hectares.  Together with its unique natural beauty and eco-system it provides an ideal environment for many species of flora and fauna.  

Local fishermen use flat-bottomed boats, known as "nàue", traditionally made of oak and propelled by the use of a pole or an oar.  It is thought that this type of boat was designed and first utilised thousands of years ago by the Samnite people. The lake contains an abundance of fish such as trout, carp, eels and freshwater crayfish.

The lake is lined by weeping willow trees, by rushes and reeds and other aquatic plants. It is a popular haunt of nature lovers and bird watchers.  Several nature trails have been created through the park and there is also restored watermill and a museum of local culture and tradition to visit.

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The lake is fed by thawing snow and rainwater that has flowed down from the slopes of the mountains of the Abruzzi. As the rock is limestone much of the rainwater is channelled underground through karst systems.  

Where a pool of water collects the water becomes dispersed through a large number of karstic springs into the lake.  Thus the water in the lake is icy cold and crystal clear, and remains at a constant temperature all year round.  

At the narrow end of the lake it meets a brook named Carpello and forms the river also bearing the name of Posta Fibreno. It is sometimes known as Cicero’s river as the Roman orator had a villa in this area and wrote about the river in his text “De Legibus”. The river Posta Fibreno  flows on until it eventually merges with the river Liri.

The lake has a curious “floating island” known as “la Rota” which has developed over the course of thousands of years due to an accumulation of peat, rhizomes, tree roots, plants and algae.  The thick mat of vegetation is not rooted to the bottom of the lake, so it drifts according the undercurrents  and the strength of the wind.  Pliny the Elder wrote about this back in 77 AD in his “Naturalis Historia”.

photo by Daniel Tortolani   CC BY-SA 4.0

photo © Italo Caira

photo by Paolo Fefe’  CC BY-ND 2.0

photo © Italo Caira   

photo © Mirko Macari

photo by Giulio Pellegrini   CC BY-SA 4.0

On the shoreline there are several bars and restaurants set beside the lake. There are also lovely spots to have a family picnic and it is possible to hire pedal boats or canoes to further explore the lake.

photo © Italo Caira   

There is a legend connected to the lake that says a convent was swallowed up by its waters, and that on a stormy night you can hear the tolling of its bell.

photo © Italo Caira  

photo © Italo Caira   

photo © Peter Left

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photo © Mirko Macari