Pergusa Lake is the only natural lake in central Sicily, it is located 5 km away from Enna and it generated as a result of a subsidence of the ground. It is famous because of the mythological legend of Proserpina, daughter of Ceres and Pluto: the legend tells that this lake was an entrance to the underworld – probably because of the reddish colour that the lake water has during certain periods of the year. The lake water is brackish because it comes from the rain as the lake doesn’t have neither tributaries nor outlets. From 1995 Pergusa Lake and the surrounding areas are considered as a Special Natural Reserve because they represent a lacustrine area with a very rich variety of avifauna and the only wet area in the heart of Sicily were migratory birds can rest.
Between April and May and between October and November, Pergusa becomes a real crossroads for birds both because of its geographical position and its wet climate, which makes it unique because the areas nearby are characterized by drought during most time of the year.
Pergusa is an ideal habitat for birds that fly non-stop for many hours from and to Africa. Thanks to a particular synergy between the microorganisms that populate the lake, it periodically creates a unique phenomenon: its water becomes red. This is due to a small crayfish that becomes red in order to protect itself from the sun and proliferates under water-plants. The crayfish leaves its red pigment in the water which consequently becomes reddish.
Further information: Turismoenna.it