We truly hope that you, our readers, will greatly enjoy and appreciate this article about these 5 Mesmerizing Marvels of Italy. It was certainly our very great pleasure to compile the data for you. We also hope that it provides you with much information for consideration.
To be certain, however, these represent only the tiniest percentag of the natural wonders found in this region. We do feel, though, that they serve as excellent examples of the type of beauty found here. We invite you to read our other articles, to learn of more such sites.
Lake Como Facts
- Leading off this article about these 5 Mesmerizing Marvels of Italy we present to you the location known simply as Lake Como.
- This stunning creation of geological processes most frequently goes by this simple name among those furtunate enough to know of it. This natural marvel also has a second name, however. That’s the much less commonly used term of Lake Lario.
- Though used far less often, the alternate term for the beautiful lake has a rich history itself. That’s because it derives from the Latin term Larius. The breathtaking beauty of the formation garnered it great appreciation even during the time of the Roman Empire.
- Even that long ago, it was a highly popular retreat for the wealthy and aristocratic. The site also constituted an extremely popular tourist attraction for the masses, even during that period. Since then, many famous people have had homes along its shore.
- In modern times, however, it earned yet another status. That’s due to the fact that it now serves as a backdrop for a magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Sacred Mountain of Ossuccio, a popular pilgrimage destination, now sits in the hills above it.
- The marvelous natural feature additionally merits appreciation for its various physical statistics. That’s true since the mind-boggling splendor of Lake Como is contained within the third-largest lake in its region. It’s also the fifth deepest lake on its continent.
- Its sheer beauty, combined with its impressive various impressive physical dimensions, also recently garnered it an award. The Huffington Post named it the most beautiful lake on earth in 2014, due to, among other factors, its microclimate and environment.
Lake Como Physical Description
The amazing Lake Como truly stands out from the majority of similar geological features. That’s due to its unique combination of purely visual appeal, and statistically high-ranked physical dimensions. The lake also packs these into a highly irregular general outline.
Overall, though, the lake has an extremely elongated shape. It boasts a maximum measured length of approximately 29 mi (46 km). Yet, its maximum measured width only equals about 2.8 mi (4.5 km). This gives it a total surface area of an impressive 56 sq mi (146 sq km).
The remarkable attributes of this product of time and local natural forces do not simply end there, however. The fabulous body of water further boasts a total shoreline length of almost 100 mi (160 km). Those make it the largest lake on its continent, outside of Norway.
It’s depth varies significantly from place to place. Overall, though, it possesses an average depth equaling roughly 505 ft (154 m). In some spots, however, its depths plunge much further. In fact, a few locations withing its boundaries dip down to up to 1,394 ft (425 m).
These all combine to provide the dazzling formation known as Lake Como with yet one more astonishing physical attribute. Taken together, these multiple measurements provide the amazing body of water with a total water volume of 5.4 cubic mi (22.5 cubic km)!
Lake Como Location, Formation, and Environment
The gorgeous jewel known as Lake Como likely comes as no surprise to those who learn of it. That’s because it formed in a region of the world already well known for its many natural marvels. This holds true since the lake formed in a lovely section of Europe.
More pecisely, though, it lies within the boundaries of the country of Italy. Its exact location places it in the administrative region named Lombardy. This further places it in the most northern section of the country, placed very near the border with Switzerland.
The breathtaking body of water originaly formed due to glacial activities. As these largely retreated following the last ice age, the resulting meltwater deposited formed the original lake. Since that time, however, it’s been maintained by the Adda River, rainfall and runoff.
Shaped like an inverted Y, the formation also lies within a region of relatively rugged terrain. This consists largely on mountainous, pre-alpine regions. The two arms of the Y-shape surround the mountainous sections, forming what’s known as the Larian Triangle.
Due to its location and a combination of environmental factors, Lake Como maintains a humid, subtropical climate most of the year. With the surface lying at roughly 650 ft (198 m) above sea level, the lake also helps the surrounding region maintain a higher temperature.
Because of these many qualities, its popular for many activities, in addition to its pure beauty. These include wind surfing, kite surfing, and sailing. Since it has the climate that it does, the local farms produce olives, cheese, milk, eggs, honey, and even salamis.
- The next location appearing in this listing of 5 Mesmerizing Marvels of Italy is the somewhat explosive member of the group, Stromboli.
- Perhaps most importantly, the simple term for the site names a small island located in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It also fails to do justice to the awesomeness of the site. This surprisingly impressive island sits just off the northern coast of Sicily, in Europe.
- The relatively small, but still quite impressive island, actually contains one of the three active volcanoes in Italy. The site also forms one of the eight islands comprising the Aeolian Islands. This also represents an active volcanic arc north of Sicily.
- The name of the remarkable small island further derives from Ancient Greek. In that language it means swollen form. Regardless of the term one uses, in any language, it remains an incredible location. Presently, though, this location has very few inhabitants.
- That’s because the island’s current population actually numbers fewer than 850 individuals. The volcano has also erupted with moderate violence numerous times in the past. It continues to be constantly active with minor eruptions even today, however.
- Yet another aspect of the site amazes those individuals fortunate enough to be able to visit it. That’s because, to the continued amazement of those who appreciate the power of Nature, this activity often appears visible from many points on Stromboli.
- These realtively minor eruptions also often appear within the surrounding sea. It’s tendency to be in a nearly constantly active state gave rise to a nickname for the island. Due to this, the location’s often referred to as the Lighthouse of the Mediterranean.
Fortunately for those who live in the region, large eruptions of the volcano of Stromboli have been comparatively rare in modern times. More precisely, the last major eruption of the volcano occurred on 13 April 2009. Neveretheless, the site’s by no means extinct.
This fabulous creation of geological processes and time additionally impresses due to its sheer size, as well. The volcano itself stands 3,034 ft (926 m) above sea level. Below the waves, though, the base itself rises roughly 8,860 ft (2,700 m) above the ocean floor.
The magnficent site, easily among the best known in the region, also boasts yet another quite impressive statistic. That holds true because of the fact that a total of three active craters sit at the peak. This distinguishes it from the great majority of kown volcanoes.
Yet another significant geological feature of the island exists, however. This particular natural formation bears the name of Sciara del Fuoco. This term names a large horseshoe-shaped depression. Evidence further indicates it formed over the past 13,000 years.
This physical feature of Stromboli, however, formed due to a series of powerful natural events. That’s because several collapses occurred on the northwestern side of the cone of the mountain. About 1.2 mi (2 km) to the northeast lies the remnant of the original volcano.
Stromboli Activity Patterns
This awe-inspiring location isn’t content to rest on its laurels, though. In fact, it also holds yet another fascination for scientists. That’s becasue, to the continued amazement of researchers, Stromboli has been in almost continuous eruption for the past 2,000 years.
The eruptions in the summit craters have additionally maintained a surprisingly regular pattern of activity. These activity patterns include mild to moderate eruptions of incandescent volcanic bombs. Nevertheless, the time between events is also incredible.
That’s because the intervals between these eruptive events range from every few minutes to every few hours. Eruptions from the craters at the summit typically result in a few short bursts. They also remain energetic in nature. Yet the impressiveness doesn’t end there.
This holds true due to the fact that eruptions also average an astounding height. In point of fact, these reach heights averaging nearly 650 ft (200 m). These further generally include varying combinations of ash, incandescent lava fragments, and blocks of stone.
Visiting Stromboli remains highly exciting, yet potentially dangerous. Unfortunately for the interested viewer, its activity type remains almost exclusively explosive. Comparatively slower and less dangerous lava flows do occur periodically when volcanic activity is high.
Blue Grotto Facts
- The third entry into our compendium of 5 Mesmerizing Marvels of Italy is the incredible, and equally famous, formation appropriately known as the Blue Grotto.
- This visually stunning site given the descriptive name constitutes an incredibly picturesque naturally occurring sea cave. As if that wasn’t enough charm, the cave also formed in an equally stunning region of the world, renowned for its charm.
- That’s because this marvel of Nature formed on the island of Capri, in southern Italy, in Europe. It’s well known for its distinctive opening. The magnificent site also remains famous for the unique, naturally occurring blue lighting within the cave.
- That, however, isn’t just a simple matter. That’s because of the fact that it occurs due to a highly specific combination of factors. That’s due to the fact that the grotto remains lit by a unique combination of lighting from two separate sources.
- This amazing site also boasts quite impressive physical measurements, as well. In fact, it extends a distance of roughly 177 ft (54 m) into the cliff. The depth of the cavern also measures about 492 ft (150 m). Further, the bottom of the cavern has a sandy covering.
- The cavern also has another defining characteristic. That’s because the cave has a small entrance. In fact, this measures around 5 ft (1.5 m) in width, at the waterline. Yet despite this, the Blue Grotto forms one of the leading tourist attractions on the island.
Blue Grotto Lighting Effects
The breathtaking site rightly known as the Blue Grotto has an impressive illumination consisting of an ethereal brilliant blue lighting. This natural, but startling effect, occurs due to dual sources. The first comes from the small entrance at the waterline.
The primary source of lighting, however, actually consists of the remarkable second source situated within its confines. Amazingly, this source actually consists of a second, naturally occuring hole. This secondary opening further formed directly below the first.
The two structures developed separated by a bar of rock measuring an impressive 6 ft (2 m) thick. The large second hole, though, measures nearly 10 times the size of the upper entrance. Thus, here, an otherwise rare natural occurrence takes place on a regular basis.
That’s because, in this instance, the cave actually receives its primary lighting from below the waterline. In addition, even more wonders await the visitor. That’s true because yet another quirk of geology also exists in the cavern involving the lighting effects.
Due to the result of positioning, it’s impossible for a visitor to discern either of three things. These consist of the shape of the underwater hole, the outline of the stone bar, or even the nature of the lighting source. The Blue Grotto thus has an otherwordly ambiance.
Blue Grotto Historical Relevance
Understandably, following its modern discovery, the Blue Grotto quickly became a popular tourist spot in modern times. This primarily occurred following the 1830’s. Evidence indicates, however, that humans knew of the site’s existence as far back as the Roman Age.
That’s because of a relatively recent discovery. Prior to their removal, sculptures from the pantheon of Roman deities originally existed in the grotto. Experts also believe that more such statues remain at the bottom of the cave, still waiting to be discovered.
Even more history occurred at this tie, however. The Roman Emperor Tiberius also, according to legend, frequented the beautiful site after he retired to Capri. Ongoing research has also uncovered the remains of an ancient man-made landing dating to that era.
Local inhabitants themselves long knew of the grotto but largely avoided it after the end of the Roman Era, though. In ancient times, this was primarily due to the belief that the Blue Grotto was inhabited by witches and various other mythical, supernatural creatures.
Lake Posta Fibreno
Lake Posta Fibreno Facts
- The fourth entry into this compilation of 5 Mesmerizing Marvels of Italy is the stunning location that bears the name of Lake Posta Fibreno.
- The sublime beauty of this formation only serves to function as an embellishment of its exotic nature. That’s because, its scenic appeal notwithstanding, the site ranks as one of the most unusual lakes to be found anywhere in the entire world.
- Given its location, the marvelous site has long been known to modern man. It currently remains unknown, however if prehistoric man knew of its existence. To date, no archaeological evidence of a prehistoric presence in its immediate region exists.
- This marvel of nature also holds a somewhat notable place in history. The Roman naturalist and philosopher, Pliny the Elder, recorded the earliest known account of the sites existence. He noted the experience in his 1st-century Naturalis Historia.
- Quite fortunately, wonderful Lake Posta Fibreno now enjoys a certain level of protection from the depredations of man. That’s due to the fact that the lake, and its surroundings, now form part of the Lago di Posta Fibreno Regional Nature Reserve.
- This location remains as astounding today as it did in ancient times. It’s not just its beauty and unusual chemical composition that make it notable, however. Its most defining feature, in fact, continues to be the long-term presence of a floating island!
Lake Posta Fibreno Physical Description
It bears noting that the magnificent Lake Posta Fibreno fully merits its high degree of appreciation for its natural wonders. It does so, however, completely regardless of its physical size. Nature, it seems, understands that magnificence has no relation to volume.
That bold statement holds true due to the fact that this location remains relatively small in terms of overall size. More precisely, its surface area only measures roughly 0.111 sq mi (0.287 sq km). Put another way, that’s roughly equal to 40 soccer fields in volume.
Its dimensions, though, remain quite irregular in nature. These also vary according to such factors as the inflow of water and evaporation. The sole source of its water, furthermore, other than rainfall, continues to be the presence of underground mineral springs.
The feature for which Lake Posta Fibreno became famous for, however, is undoubtedly its floating island. This actually formed over a long period of time, however. It’s principally composed of a significant accumulation of peats, roots, and free-floating rhizomes.
This remarkable floating mass also boasts highly respectable measurements for a formation of its type. It’s approximately 130 ft (39.6 m) wide, and 13 ft (3.96 m) in thickness. Shrubs and even small trees also grow on it surface, which catch the wind, moving it across the water.
Lake Posta Fibreno Location, Formation, and Ecology
The breathtaking, and surprising, Lake Posta Fibreno formed in a part of the world already renowned for its natural splendor. This remarkable work of Nature also exists in an area of the Northern Hemisphere holding significant historical importance to mankind.
More precisely, the fascinating body of water formed in what now constitutes the country of Italy. For those readers who may not know, that places it in the southern portion of the continent of Europe. With further precision, it’s found in the province of Lazio.
The site also owes its nature and formation to the actions of subterranean lakes, siphons, waterfalls, and rivers. The stunning body of water originated from the collection of water discharged from these. They in turn emerged near the base of the Apennine Mountains.
Due to its nature, Lake Posta Fibreno also now maintains a unique ecosystem. Renowned for its astounding clarity, the water maintains a nearly constant temperature of 50 F (10 C). That clarity stems from its passage through the surrounding limestone.
It further serves as home to a variety of bird species, as well as several fish species. One of these, in fact, appears to be solely native to this one site. Unfortunately, however, an invasive species of mammal, imported from South America, threatens to disrupt its balance.
Neptune’s Grotto Facts
- The final, but certainly not least, location making an appearance in this article about 5 Mesmerizing Marvels of Italy is the fabulous Neptune’s Grotto.
- While not the only sea cave in the area, most individuals who visit it consider Neptune’s Grotto to be by far the most beautiful. Somewhat incredibly, the discovery of this magnificent marvel of natural processes occurred accidentally in the 18th century.
- This discovery was, perhaps even more asstonishingly, effected by local fishermen working in the area. Further evidence, however, indicates that primitive man knew of the existence of this geological marvel, as well as several other similar sites locally.
- The cave opening itself formed at the base of extremely steep and rugged cliffs. Yet that opening to the grotto sits only slightly more than 3 ft (1 m) above sea level. The cave can therefore only be safely accessed during periods of calm wave activity.
- This true marvel of long-term natural processes can, at certain times, be accessed either by boat or a stairway carved into the cliff face itself. This beautiful site, now known as Neptune’s Grotto, was also once used as a habitat for the Mediterranean Monk Seal.
- Sadly, however, that species now faces extinction and no longer inhabits the region. It nevertheless remains oft-visited. That’s because, as a result of its natural beauty, the site now serves as an extremely popular destination for tourists visiting the area.
Neptune’s Grotto Physical Description
Not surprisingly, the mesmerizing Neptune’s Grotto serves as a classic example of what makes sea caves beautiful and fascinating. The grotto itself extends more than 2.5 mi (4 km ) in length. Inside, an array of stalactites and stalagmites greet visitors with their beauty.
Several passages of varying lengths and height also exist within the cave system. To the astonishment of those who visit the site, more awesome sights await them. That’s due to the fact that, among other features, a comparatively large saltwater lake resides within the grotto.
This truly surprising lake itself, furthermore, actually measures an impressive 394 ft (120 m) in length. It also sits at sea level. The depth varies, but averages about 29.5 ft (9 m). The breathtaking Neptune’s Grotto has still more remarkable facets to its appeal.
This includes the fact that it has a maximum width of 82 ft (25 m). A regular influx of seawater via wave activity maintains the lovely, shallow lake. Adding to the distinctive beauty of the magical location, a large stalagmite protrudes from the approximate center of the lake.
Neptune’s Grotto Location, Formation, and History
Neptune’s Grotto formed in a region itself considered quite picturesque. That’s because the natural wonder formed on the beautiful island of Sardinia, in Italy, in Europe. For a variety of reasons, the stunning location derives its name from the Roman god of the sea, Neptune.
The surrounding limestone cliffs also tower an impressive 360 ft (110 m) in height. These local formations also contain several other sea caves as well as this marvel. Since these cliffs formed during the Cretaceous Period, the sea has had time to carve out the cave system.
Evidence further indicates that the caves and grottoes have existed as we now know them for roughly two million years. Since its rediscovery in the 18th century, however, the magnificent Neptune’s Grotto has stood out from other natural wonders of the region.
The breathtaking cave system has also, and quite rightly, gained great fame for its natural beauty. Today, an impressive tens of thousands of tourists visit the stunning location annually. Sadly, this poses problems for those dedicated to preserving the natural marvel.
Fortunately, protective measures have been put in place for just that reason. Firstly, access to the full extent of the grotto and cave system remains limited. Therefore, only certified speleologists may explore the full extent of its dimensions, for its ongoing preservation.
5 Mesmerizing Marvels of Italy
We sincerely hope that you have thoroughly enjoyed reading, and hopefully learning from, this article about 5 Mesmerizing Marvels of Italy. It’s also our fervent hope that having done so left you with a new or renewed appreciation for such natual wonders of the world.
Unfortunately, though, many of the geological marvels of the world created by Nature now face certain hazards. These include various depredations by humans. It’s up to each and every one of us to do all that we can to preserve these wonders for our descendants to enjoy.