Monday, August 2, 2010
|The Cave at Sperlonga. The fish pond and remains of the imperial dining room in the foreground|
Matthew and I successfully met up with the group from the Vergilian Society program at 9 AM. The group made stops at Terracina and at Sperlonga on the way to Cumae. I especially liked the museum at Sperlonga, which is suspected to be the site of one of the Emperor Tiberius' villas. There are some Hellenistic-style statures there on the theme of Odysseus, including a nice reproduction of a statue group of Odysseus and his men blinding the Cyclops, Polyphemus. The statues were originally in a triclinium set in a cave, or spelunca in Latin. The name, Sperlonga, might actually be a corruption of the Latin word for cave. Sperlonga has a beautiful beach within sight of the museum and cave, but we didn't have time to go there. Sigh!
|Exploring the interior of the cave, the original location of the museum's statues|
|Upper-class Romans liked to grow fish in ponds on their estates|
|A view of the dining area from inside the cave. Tourists on the right give an idea of the scale.|
|We can tell from these holes on the dining platform that the Romans raised lampreys, a delicacy, here|
|Another exterior view of the cave at Sperlonga|