Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lago di Trasimeno (Umbria)

The northern shores of Lake Trasimene is an agricultural paradise: quiet, with the surrounding rolling hills filled with olive groves and vineyards. In the morning, a thick mist blankets the quasi-valley, making the atmosphere more peaceful and quieter still. But one could tell by the names of the surrounding towns the bloody past of this small piece of flat land: Sanguineto, Ossaia, Pian di Marte. This was the location of one of the earliest and most successful military ambushes in history, in a battle between Hannibal's Carthaginian forces against Flaminius' Roman army. In a matter of three hours, almost 20,000 men died and more were sold into slavery. Hannibal's victory was decisive and have been remembered throughout history despite a persistent campaign by Rome to erase him and his aggression from history. Agriturismo owners nowadays don't sell their products with Flaminius' face--Annibale's is plastered onto everything bottled sold by these farms.

I wonder, what would he think of his legacy, now that his name is being used to sell quality wine and olive oil?

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