Il lago di Mezzano
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The clear waters of Lake Mezzano, in prehistoric times, flooded some villages of the Bronze Age (2000-1000 years BC.) jealously guarding, for almost four millennia, the wooden structures of the stilts, ceramic containers, tools bronze (axes, swords, buckles, pins) and wooden artefacts, the paleontological remains. The exhibits are on display in Museum of Prehistory of Tuscia and Rocca Farnese. The first discoveries date back to 1973.
In this lake historians identify the Lacus Statoniensis described by Seneca and Pliny in the Quaestiones Naturales in the Treaty Naturalis Historia.
The pristine beauty of the place is not only in the historical richness, but is enhanced in the beautiful environment that characterizes the banks. A lake almost totally devoid of traces of human presence. No paved roads, it can only be reached on foot, without discharges in its clean waters.
The perimeter of the lake is surrounded by reeds, particularly at the effluent, the river Olpeta are humid environments populated by a rich birdlife. Water rails, coots, moorhens, kingfishers find an ideal shelter among the alders, willows and reeds and, with a little luck, you might encounter the fast marsh hawk circling in search of prey.
The bunch of reeds surrounding the lake is followed by a short strip of pasture and then the slopes, typical of volcanic lakes, covered by a beautiful tree line.
Particularly striking is the forest located on the west side, Red Mountain, where tall trees planted with oak and oak trees hiding the remains of the Castle of Mezzano, of Lombard origin, and destroyed in the mid-1300s. A place where legend and folklore has it that it was locked and then killed Pia de’ Tolomei, the Sienese noblewoman mentioned by Dante in the fifth canto of the Purgatorio.
Not far from the lake (about 1.5 miles) is an incredible monument of nature: an immense oak, over 300 years old, ranked one of the oldest plants of Lazio, which stands on the edge of a steep ditch. The WWF has declared it a true “natural monument”.
In this area also elevates the hill Monte Becco, which dominates the Natural Reserve of the Lamone, the nearby town of Farnese. On this hill, often referred to as one of the possible sites of Fanum Voltumnae, the largest and unknown sanctuary of the Etruscans, a study mission of the Academy of Denmark, has found traces of the Etruscan walls, ruins bronze, several tiles cooked, including an engraved representation of the alphabet of the Etruscans.


Il lago di Mezzano

About prehistoric settlements, it has to be said that findings from the copper have been found in loc. Monte Saliette, while for the period of the bronze final recorded many discoveries of remains of various buildings such as the Monte Saliette, Poggi del Mulino, Monte Starnina. It may have been this site, as a settlement place offshore (862 m above lm), behind the modern town, to form the nucleus of what was then the village, so the civitas of Valentano.