The Sorceress Circe and the Circeo Promontory
The Circeo Promontory is a place of great natural and spiritual beauty. The wild beaches, forests and caves provide an unspoilt and enchanted landscape and create an aura of mystery and mysticism.
It is said that the Sorceress Circe, daughter of Helios and Perseids, famous for her beauty and her power to turn men into animals with her sorcery, lived here. According to legend, Circe's home was on the island of Aeaea, now Circeo's promontory. Homer first spoke of her in his Odyssey, the poem that tells of the exploits of Ulysses. Homer states that one day Ulysses and his companions, returning from the land of the Lestrigons to Ithaca, landed on the island of Aeaea. Odysseus' companions went on a patrol and arrived in front of Circe's abode where there were fierce-looking animals. They were men transformed by the sorceress into animals, thanks to some magical herbal potions she had prepared. Circe invited them in and offered them plenty of food and drink, turning them into pigs, dogs and lions. Only Euriloco, who had not entered the palace, saved himself and warned Ulysses. Alarmed, Ulysses decided to go and help his friends. But first, he encountered the god Hermes, who gave him a remedy to counteract the poison in the sorceress Circe's drinks. So when Odysseus entered Circe's abode and drank the drink, he did not turn into an animal. He was able to release his friends from the curse after defeating the sorceress Circe. When Circe realized it was Ulysses, son of Laertes, her attitude changed, assisting him in getting ready to return to Ithaca. The hero allegedly spent a year at the palace under Circe's spell and fathered a son with her.
The promontory of Circeo is named after the beautiful Circe. Nobody is entirely sure where Circe lived, but the Roman temple built in her honour can be found on the promontory's highest summit. Is there any truth to the legend? The Promontory seen from Anzio in fact appears as the profile of a lying woman's face, the Sorceress Circe, while seen from Gaeta it appears as an island, the ancient Island of Aeaea.