Aretusa Source in Syracuse

Aretusa Source in Syracuse

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 Lago Aretusa - Siracusa (SR)

The Fonte Aretusa , also known as the Fountain of the Papyri , arises from a freshwater spring that gushes a few meters from the sea, on the island of Ortigia. The source forms a small semicircular lake, full of fish and ducks, where the plants of the only spontaneous papyri present in Europe thrive.
The source, initially pure, became brackish probably due to the various earthquakes that occurred after 1693. In the 1540 the source was incorporated into the new fortifications commissioned by Charles V. In the eighteenth century the water from the source was collected in underground tanks that fed the wash houses for the tanning of the skins. Its present appearance dates back to 1847.
The fountain is dedicated to the famous myth of Arethusa and Alfeo .
It is possible to take a tour inside the source, accompanied by audio guides that tell the myth of Alfeo and Arethusa and the history of the monument.
The Fonte Aretusa is certainly one of the most mysterious and fascinating places in Syracuse, it has inspired the imagination of poets and writers since ancient times: Orazio Nelson was enchanted by the source, and when he stopped in Syracuse in June 1798, before facing Napoleon in Abukir he wrote: "Thanks to your efforts we have supplied ourselves with food and water and certainly, having drawn from the Arethusa, we cannot miss victory ".

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