The wonderful springs inspired the countless poets and writers for thousands of years
Only 12 minutes by car from Spoleto, in the province of Perugia, there is an oasis where it is possible to relax among swans and lush vegetation. Fonti del Clitunno – Clitumnus Springs in English – with its turquoise, and emerald green waters, fascinated ancient and contemporary Italian and foreign poets. Indeed, the beauty of this water garden is such that walking among its paths, bridges, and waterfalls gives the impression to be part of a living picture.
The Clitumnus is born between Spoleto and Foligno, and, after 60 km, it merges with the Topino River, a tributary of the Tiber. In the area where the river Clitunno originates, groundwater comes to the surface as several water springs. A few of these created a lake with crystal clear iridescent waters. In the 19th century it was planted with willows and, today it offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy the magnificent beauty of nature in an environment that is carefully monitored to keep it as pristine as possible.
The beauty of this water garden is such that walking among its paths, bridges, and waterfalls gives the impression to be part of a living picture
This is the “sacred current” Virgil referred to in his “Georgics”. It is also the “beautiful river that provides shade with his forest” described by Sextus Propertius in the “Elegies.” Pliny the Younger, in a letter to a friend, described how the spring is made up of “many and different veins”, which “give life to a pond so pure and crystalline that you could count the coins thrown into it or the stones glistening at its bottom.” While George Byron’s “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage” pays tribute to the “sweetest wave / Of the most living crystal that was e’er / The haunt of river nymph.” Indeed, the list of poets inspired by this enchanting location is virtually endless. Among them, there are Giosuè Carducci, Juvenal, Statius, Silius Italicus, Claudian, and many more.
Ilona Catani Scarlett