A trip into a natural reserve in the heart of Sicily

Lake Pergusa is a wonderful nature reserve in the heart of Sicily, about five miles from Enna.
This lake is also ‘ mythical’ because there’s a Greek/Roman myth around this place: the myth of the rape of Persephone/Proserpina also known as “Kore”. It is narrated that this lake was the place where Hades/Pluto (the god of the Underworld) kidnapped the beautiful Persephone, brought her into the Underworld and even married her! As a reaction, her mother Demeter/Ceres (the goddess of Earth and agriculture ) left the land dry by stopping the growth of fruits and vegetables. What a malediction for Sicily! The soil could not be dry forever! For this reason, after Zeus/Jupiter’s mediation, Hade accepted a compromise: Persephone would have lived six months in the underworld realm with him, her husband, and six months on the Earth with her mother. This legend represents the mythological explanation of the Four Seasons cycle and it is associated with the springtime growth of crops, but also with the cycle of life, death and rebirth or renewal. As a matter of fact, when Persephone is in the Underworld (like a seed) the world goes through Autumn and Winter and the soil above is barren and fruitless; while when Persephone emerges onto the world above, then the crops blossom (Spring) and they flourish (Summer) because when she is close to her mother everything is shiny, warm and full of happiness.

Lake Pergusa shows both its urban and its natural sides in just one solution and it is a very popular tourist attraction especially in Spring and Summer: you can have the chance to go for a walk there and discover nature. It is a unique lake because it is also a special wildlife habitat for migrating birds, for rare species and beautiful flora and fauna. So many school groups usually undertake a wildlife trail, helped by teachers but also by some useful signs and boards showing and describing, for example, some kinds of birds or plants you may see while you are there.

This place also houses the “Autodromo”, a race track in the heart of reserve. Nature lovers do not like it very much but it is Sicily’s most prominent track and it is very peculiar because it is around a natural lake: everything is really well-kept and in very good condition. In its history this huge circuit hosted lots of international competitions…even races of the Formula 1! Can you imagine people’s enthusiasm while seeing Ferrari racing fast so close to them? How exciting it is!

To conclude we can say that Pergusa Lake offers a mix of both sport and nature and in fact in Spring it becomes the hub of sport: you may see a lot of bikers coming from all over Sicily especially during special events such as “Triathlon”. However, you do not need a special event to go there and train your body: in fact there is an equipped area ,too so you can train your muscles but also your head and your spirit listening to the voice of nature, to the birds and to all nature sounds around!
You can even find a dog area in which ‘Humans’ and dogs can relax and have fun together by playing an obstacle course or by running and jogging around the area. ‘Happy humans , happy dogs’!

I recommend this amazing and peaceful place to all the people who want to chill out after a hard week or a bad day: it’s revitalizing!

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