The Entrance to Hades exists, according to Carlo Santillo, a tour guide for the Grotta della Sibilla. Hidden along a walking path at Lago Averno, the grotta (cave) is a 300-foot long Roman tunnel with many corridors that once interconnected, but now end in dirt or water. One of these passageways, Carlo insists, leads to the swampy Styx where Aeneas passed on his way to the Underworld.
After peering into murky water, we walk to the very end of the tunnel where a grand stairwell spirals down into a waiting room. A mammoth stone juts in the middle with an arched opening. Crouching through, on the other side we walk along a wooden plank above two watery caverns where, Carlo explains, the Sibyl once bathed and then gave her dual-meaning predictions.
Whatever the truth, the inky darkness illuminated by Carlo’s candles convinces everyone that Pluto himself likely roams close by.