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Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Lazio  /  Province of Rome  /  Nemi

Nemi

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Nemi is a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Rome (central Italy), in the Alban Hills overlooking Lake Nemi, a volcanic crater lake. It is 6km northwest of Velletri and about 30km southeast of Rome.The town's name derives from the Latin nemus, or "holy wood". In antiquity the area had no town, but the grove was the site of one of the most famous of Roman cults and temples: that of Diana Nemorensis, a study of which served as the seed for Sir James Frazer's seminal work on the anthropology of religion, The Golden Bough. In 1514 Marcantonio I Colonna gave to Nemi the "Statuti e Capituli del Castello di Nemi", the first city statute with rules and regulations to observe.Main sightsCaligula's shipsPossibly in connection with the cult of Diana Nemorensis, Roma emperor Caligula built several very large and costly luxury barges for use on the lake. One ship was a shrine dedicated to ceremonies for the Egyptian Isis cult or the cult of Diana Nemorensis, designed to be towed, and the other was a pleasure boat with buildings on it. After Caligula's overthrow, the boats were scuttled.The ships were rediscovered during the Renaissance, when architect Leon Battista Alberti is reported to have attempted to raise the ships by roping them to buoyant barrels. While ingenious, this method proved unsuccessful, because of extensive rotting.
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