Pliny The Younger - La Palerna - Azienda Agricola Biagioli Paola

Pliny the Younger

In the plain below La Palerna, Pliny the Younger had an important property, including a large villa and extensive grounds, which he loved greatly. This is what he wrote in a letter to Domitius Apollinaris (Book V, Epist. 6):

"..... The appearance of the region is very pleasant. Imagine an immense amphitheatre, such as only nature can create. A wide, open plain surrounded by mountains; these are covered to the summit with ancient, majestic forests, where the game is varied and plentiful. Along the slopes of the mountains, the coppices slope gently between fertile hills rich in humus, which can compete in fertility with the fields of the plain (in fact, it is not easy to find rock even if you look for it). …. Below, the appearance of the landscape is made more uniform by the large vineyards that ring the hills on every side and whose limits, lost in the distance, contain glimpses of lovely woods. Then, there are meadows and fields everywhere that only the strongest oxen and solid ploughs are able to break; the tenacious soil, when first cut, raises big clods that can only be completely dominated by ploughing again. The meadows, fertile and full of flowers, produce clover and other herbs that are always soft and tender, as if they just sprouted, since all the fields are irrigated by perennial streams. Yet, although there is plenty of water, there are no swamps, and this is because the sloping land empties the water that it has not absorbed into the Tiber. …. I (prefer) my Tuscan (Tuscia, which at the time of Pliny the Younger, included Tuscany, Umbria and Upper Lazio, editor’s note) villa to those of Tusculum, Tivoli and Preneste. In fact, in addition to all the reasons mentioned, here the possibility to rest is greater, more complete, and trouble-free; plus, there is no need to wear a toga and there's no one to annoy me nearby; all is calm and peace. To this, of course, you can add the healthiness of the region, the serenity of the sky, and the air, which is purer than elsewhere. I am spiritually and physically well because I exercise the spirit with study and the body with hunting. …. In the future, may the gods preserve this satisfaction for me and the fame of such a place”.