The Lake of Lispida

  • SP16, 35043 Monselice PD, Italia
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Lake Lispida is located between Monselice and Battaglia Terme and extends to the foot of the eastern slope of the small mountain from which it takes its name. It is part of the vast property of Villa Italia (also known as Castello di Lispida), which includes the hill and part of the surrounding plain, and can be reached from its shores by taking a short walk along the path that skirts the estate's vineyards. Together with the nearby Lago della Costa di Arquà Petrarca, it is the only natural thermal lake in the Euganean territory. The entire foothill area where the two basins are located was once completely submerged by marshes. Only in the second half of the sixteenth century the territory was finally reclaimed by the Venetians through a massive work of canalization of stagnant water, the so-called "Retratto di Monselice". The reservoir of Lake Lispida is fed by hot sulphurous water springs having the same geothermal origin as the waters present in the famous basin of Abano and Montegrotto Terme. Its muddy bottom represents a really precious resource as it supplies a large part of the thermal mud used for therapeutic purposes by the Euganean Spa establishments and which, precisely because of its natural origin and the long process of "maturation" to which it is subjected, differs from that used in other health resorts. The presence of hot water in this stretch of water has always stimulated the imagination of the inhabitants, giving rise to various beliefs and legends. The best known has as its protagonist Manfredo, a young count of Monticelli, who suffered from a leg disease that did not give him peace. After unsuccessfully trying numerous treatments, the pain that afflicted him became more and more acute, preventing him from sleeping. On the night of St. John the Baptist, the poor man went to the shores of Lake Lispida where he had decided to throw himself in order to put an end to his torments. But before he could realize his purpose, he heard a melodious song and from the dark waters of the lake emerged a beautiful girl, half woman and half fish, who was moved by the pain of the young man and decided to help him. The mermaid dived and brought to the surface of the boiling mud with which it covered the sick limbs of Manfredo. In a few days the Count was completely cured. Every night he went to the lake hoping to see again the one who had cured him, but the siren did not show up anymore. Even today the spirit of the Count of Monticelli wanders around the lake at night calling for his beloved, but according to legend only during the night of St. John the Baptist the two lovers are able to meet again and those who are in the vicinity can hear the melodious song of the siren coming from the bottom of the water.

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