Puzza del Diavolo!

May 21, 2009 / Local Interest
bullicame1Viterbo is about to undergo profound change. As if a proposed airport that would take the stress off Ciampino, Italy’s inter-Europe airport, was not enough to shake things up politically, the local paper has just claimed that its free sulfur baths outside of town are now free alternatives to…Viagra!

La puzza del diavolo (the stench of the devil!) is the sulfurous smell of boiled eggs, a natural gas released from hydrogen sulphide, that for decades Italians have referred to, when speaking of its natural baths outside of town. Locals have long thought that these ancient baths were the panacea for different ailments; now locals are wondering how to market it as a free way to counteract male impotence.

bullicame2The discovery of a recent study conducted by Dr.Roberta D’Emmanuele and located in the sulfurous area around Naples points to its truth. They discovered that sulfur is a powerful stimulus, every bit as potent as Viagra. “While the medicine in some cases proved effective, the effects of this natural gas would always be effective.”

Medieval legends linked the devil to lust; whenever a sinful act was referred to, the devil was not far behind. Today the term is not often used, especially between two consulting adults.

Yes, the Viterbesi happily bathe here and inhale the wretched “stench of the devil”. So now I’ll no longer wonder why so many people love bathing in these waters.

Look for the baths at Bullicame as a popular destination spot soon.

Evanne Brandon-Diner

by Evanne Brandon-Diner

Chronicler of local village life in Northern Lazio, and property restoration and purchasing consultant. www.lavventuraitalia.com

5 Responses to “Puzza del Diavolo!”

  1. Penny Ewles-Bergeron
    Penny Ewles-Bergeron

    Wow! It’s difficult to imagine the smell of sulphur having any effect other than ‘run away!’ When we board the train at Bagnoli, one stop along the Metropolitana from Pozzuoli, the carriages are often full of this devilish stink thanks to the Solfatara volcano near the terminus. Puzzuoli might be a better name. Thanks, Evanne for a fascinating note and a new piece of trivia to pass on whenever the whiff of sulphur sweeps across the NATO base near Naples. We’ll have to watch out for frisky officers!

  2. Buzz Floyd

    Do you mean that all the spankings I got as a kid for swimming in the sulpher water pond on the strip mine in West Virginia were for nothing, and the water might have been good for me after all? When they said, “You might get polio,” were they really afraid I might get something else?


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