Lake of Venus (Pantelleria)

Panorama del Lago di Venere o Specchio di Venere a Pantelleria

The Lago or Specchio di Venere (Lake or Mirror of Venus) is one of the most charming places on Pantelleria. It is located in the northern part of the island, a few kilometres from the airport. It is fed exclusively by rainfall and some thermal springs. Apart from having the only beach on Pantelleria, it is also one of the many natural spas on the island, where you can also find a type of mud with beneficial and purifying properties for the skin. The high concentration of minerals in Lake Venus’ water also amplifies its reflective power. If you visit early in the morning, you can see the nearby village of Bugèber reflected in the water. On evenings when there is a full moon, this special corner of Pantelleria produces unique emotions.

Lago di Venere: Origin and features

Sorgenti termali nel Lago di Venere a Pantelleria

Lago di Venere, also called “u Vagnu i l’Acqua” (the Water Bath) by the people of Pantelleria, is a volcanic lake located in the northern part of the island of Pantelleria. The lake is also known by another name: Specchio di Venere (Mirror of Venus). According to legend, Venus, the goddess of beauty, used the lake as a mirror before every lovers’ tryst with the god Bacchus. The lake was formed inside an ancient volcanic cone and is fed exclusively by rainfall and three different thermal springs that flow at a temperature of between 35°C and 58°C. It has a maximum depth of about 12 metres, is less than a kilometre long and just over half a kilometre wide. The minerals in the waters of the Specchio di Venere not only create the precious thermal mud but also enhance its reflective effect. It is worth visiting the lake early in the morning to enjoy the spectacle of the village of Bugèber reflected in the water.

The Specchio di Venere mud baths

Una ragazza fa i fanghi al Lago di Venere o Specchio di Venere a Pantelleria

One of the special features of the Lago di Venere is that it is fed exclusively by thermal springs and rainwater. During the summer period, when there is very little rain, the water level drops. A prized thermal silt thus appears on the southern shore of the lake. The lake water is rich in minerals, particularly silica, sodium carbonate and sulphur. The mud that forms on the seabed thus has important beneficial properties for the skin. To get the maximum benefit from the mud, it is advisable to immerse yourself for a few minutes close to the hot springs, which are easily recognised by the bubbling water. Then get out of the water, cover your body with the thermal mud and let it dry. After rinsing, your skin will immediately appear smooth and free of impurities..

The Santuario del Lago di Venere

Excavations on the north-western shore of the Lago di Venere have brought to light a Roman shrine. It is an Ionic temple whose structure, however, uses pre-existing Punic architectural elements. The building consists of two different areas. The first is a rectangular cell, where the statue of the deity to whom the temple was dedicated was probably kept. Comparison with other sanctuaries of the same period in the Mediterranean suggests that the shrine was dedicated to fertility and water. The second room, discovered during the excavations, is an area probably used for sacrificial rites and connected to the cell by a flight of steps.

Aggiungi ai preferiti

Leave a Reply