A picturesque town in the province of Rome, located between the Alban Hills, in the Castelli Romani area, Nemi is located in a panoramic location near to the volcanic lake with the same name. The town's name has clear Latin origins and derives from "nemus" (forest), often, in the past, remembered as "nemus Dianae" to indicate that the area was sacred to the goddess Diana. Affiliated, in ancient times, to the nearby city of Aricia, here was erected the temple dedicated to the goddess Diana and became the religious center of the Latin League, after the destruction of Alba Longa. After the decline of the Roman Empire, Nemi submitted a strong depopulation, until the IX century, after the building of a stronghold, the town recreated the conditions for the realization of a secure urban centre. The fief belonged to the Counts of Tusculum followed by the Frangipane, although the management of the castle was entrusted to the Cistercian monks. In the first half of the XV century it was ceded to the Colonna Family, then it was assigned to the Cardinal Guillaume d'Estouteville and finally passed to the Borgia. After a series of events, the centre was assigned to the various branches of the local Lords, such as the Frangipane, the Colonna, the Barberini and the Braschi Onesti. Over the centuries Nemi has been appreciated and described by several artists and famous writers, such as: Hans Christian Andersen, Goethe, Stendhal, D'Annunzio and Lord Byron, who immortalized the town in his "Child Harold's Pilgrimage."
Sites of Interest:
- the remains of the Temple of Diana Aricina;
- the effluent of Lake Nemi, an artificial stream built, in the V century B.C., to adjust the water level of the lake;
- the Museum of Roman Ships, which preserves inside the remains of two splendid Roman ships dating from the period of Emperor Caligula and found the bottom of Lake Nemi. Unfortunately in 1944 they went destroyed due to a disastrous fire. However, today it is possible to still admire the remains of their bronze decorations and some prints and reproductions of the ships themselves, as well as other archaeological finds from the Roman era;
- the remains of St. Nicholas Church, located on the Eastern shore of the lake, and dating to the period after the Edict of Milan in 313 which was liberalized Christian worship;
- the Church of Santa Maria del Pozzo, which features a single nave plan with side chapels and transept, built by the Cistercians in place of the shrine which stood in the area later occupied by the Castello Ruspoli;
- the XVII century Sanctuary of the Holy Cross;
- Palazzo Ruspoli with its watchtower, built during the Middle Ages by the counts of Tusculum and renovated in the Renaissance.