Roma, Italy

Hike through Solfatara di Pomezia

2 Miles Total - 200 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Thomas Bacon

Looking for a natural wonder of the world type-escape only 1 hour outside of Rome? This is the spot. A small nature reserve similar to Yellowstone National Park. Only this place actually does have yellow stones, because of all of the sulfur.

As always, when visiting these places come with respect, and Leave No Trace. If you have a car this adventure is about an hour outside of Rome. However, if you are visiting Rome and do not have a car; you can take a train from Termini to Pomezia. Starting the walk North of the train station towards Via della Solfarata head West on Via della Solfarata. (Be careful, the shoulder on this highway is very narrow). Follow this highway all the way until you reach the bend in the road past the gas station. Once you pass the bend in the road you will see triangle pipeline signs in a recessed area off the side of the road. This is where you will enter the wilderness area.

Roman legend has it that these sulfuric lakes were the birth place of the Giulia family who started the line of the Roman emperors. This place has a lot of cultural and natural significance and being free to enter and unprotected it is on you to do your part and respect this place. Please leave no trace, and take only photographs. The beauty and the pure wonder you will find at this place is unmatched by any other natural phenomena an hour outside of Rome.

The Red lake is the first lake you will see turning right. A unique kind of algae is present here giving it the distinct red color. Comprised of slightly different elements, this lake is able to house very small protozoan-like worms that live on the edge of the lake and if you look very closely you can see many of them wiggling around in the water. Because of these delicate life forms and the sulfur content no one should enter these lakes.

The greenish blue and brown lakes are further down the path on the opposite fork you took to the red lake. You will see an abandoned building on the left, the structural integrity of the building is suspect. Continuing down the trail you will eventually see an overlook where you can see all of the remaining lakes. This is one of the better vantage points for photography, and a good place to stop, so that foot traffic is not increased too heavily along the vulnerable marshy banks of the blue and green lakes. However the dirt path does continue down closer to the lakes and will take you to the brown and the white lake. Please stay on the path so that these areas are not damaged by heavy foot traffic. If you walk close enough to the white lake you will hear rumblings in the ground and you will be able to feel it in your feet. It is constantly boiling! This is the hottest and most potent of all the lakes so I caution against getting too close. If you're as lucky as I was, you may also be visited by hundreds of sheep. 

Visit these sites for more information and history on the lakes:

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Hot Springs


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