Lake Bracciano is one of the most famous lakes near Rome Italy! Here you will find a short guide to visit Bracciano and its surroundings
Lake Bracciano, also called Lake Sabatino, is a lake located north of the city of Rome.
Its surface area of 56.5 km makes it one of the largest Italian lakes, the third largest in central Italy and the second largest in Lazio. It is less than an hour from Rome and more precisely 59.6 km from the city centre.
The lake was formed by filling a tectono-volcanic cavity created by the emptying of the magma chamber that fed the Sabatino volcanic complex. Several minerals have been found near Lake Bracciano, in the geothermal field of Cesano. Caesanite is the most important one, for which the area is defined as a type locality.
To the east of Lake Bracciano, there is another small lake of volcanic origin, Lake Martignano (where the Regional Natural Park of Bracciano-Martignano, a volcanic area of 16,682 hectares, is located).
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What to see on Lake Bracciano?
Although they are considered urban areas, these lakes near Rome still retain large tracts of vegetation and forests where trips out of town can be organised to be in full contact with nature.
All around the lake, there is a scenic road that can be travelled either by car or on foot. There you will find many stalls selling local foods or handmade objects. You will also admire amazing views over the lake and get to the picturesque villages in the area.
The picturesque villages to visit at least once in your life
Just a few kilometres from this natural swimming pool, there are several medieval villages where you can spend wonderful days strolling and marvelling at the view. Below you will find a list of the most amazing villages to visit at least once in a lifetime:
The ancient town of Bracciano originates on the western shore of the ancient Lake Bracciano. In the 6th century, this territory was owned by the Prefetti di Vico family. Another important family in this territory was the Odescalchi family, who came to power in 1696.
Thanks to the Odescalschi family, you can admire one of the most beautiful castles near Rome: the Orsini Odescalchi Castle. It was built between 1470 and 1481 by Napoleon Orsini and is surrounded by two walls of irregular shape. It is possible to visit the famous Bracciano castle by taking part in guided tours that allow you to walk around and discover magnificent mansions. From Bracciano, you can reach the so-called Belvedere della Sentinella where you can enjoy a breathtaking view.
In Bracciano lake and more! Another interesting tourist attraction is the Air Force Historical Museum (Museo Storico dell’Aeronautica Militare). Spread over four large exhibition pavilions, the museum houses 80 aircraft, as well as a collection of engines and many types of aeronautical memorabilia. The itinerary offered to visitors is divided into various sectors, including some dedicated to the Pioneers, the Dirigibles, the First World War and the Cruises.
2. Anguillara Sabazia
A wealthy Roman patrician woman, Rutilia Polla, owned a villa on the shores of Lake Bracciano, just below the Collegiate Church, and bred fish from the lake to supply the market in Rome. The villa was shaped like a corner, and therefore called “Angularia”; hence the name Anguillara.
There are many tourist attractions in this second medieval village: the 16th century gate, considered the ancient entry point to the town, surmounted by a clock and joined by a 16th century bastion to the medieval tower.
The collegiate church of Santa Maria Assunta is situated on the highest point of the promontory. The exterior is characterised by its wonderful façade, designed by Antonio Jacometti in 1888. The façade is salient, with a crowning triangular gable in the nave and a plane with a balustrade in the aisles. Internally, it has no transept, with a nave and two aisles divided by two rows of three round arches resting on quadrangular pillars, to which the tall Corinthian half-columns supporting the barrel vault with lunettes in the nave are attached. In the centre of the nave, there is a fresco depicting the Assumption of Mary into heaven.
The Medieval Tower now houses the Museum of Peasant Civilisation and Popular Culture, where several tools and utensils for peasant and civil use are kept and displayed, a reminder of life in Lazio in the early 20th century.
3. Trevignano Romano
Trevignano Romano is built on a cliff and rises on an inlet 173 meters above sea level.
There are many things to see in this historic centre on Lake Bracciano: first of all, the Church of the Madonna Assunta in Cielo, located in the highest part of the village. The church dates back to 1500 and was built on the foundations of a sacred building in Gothic style. Among its works of art, inside you will admire the fresco in the apse, which is the work of a painter who was a pupil of Raphael.
The Rocca del Vico was built in 1200 by Pope Innocent III, but only the ruins of the castle remain.
A Map for your trip!
These beautiful villages are very close to each other, as you can see from the map 👇
What to do in and around Lake Bracciano?
There are many things to do here, including nature walks, swimming in the clear waters of Lake Bracciano, canoeing and windsurfing.
If you don’t love these sports, it is possible to rent bicycles to ride from shore to shore, to get into sport fishing or to rent a boat for a pleasant trip on the lake.
In Bracciano Lake and flavours, with Italia Delight!
Italia Delight offers you many food and wine experiences in this corner of Lazio to taste fine wines, traditional foods and the famous Roman Countryside Caciofiore cheese.
You can discover local wines in the winery of Trevignano Romano a few kilometres from Rome and delicious cheeses such as the ricotta romana and caciofiore:
Lake Bracciano is not enough for you? Discover all the food & wine experiences in Lazio with Italia Delight!
📚 If you want to discover the wines of Lazio, read the article… Lazio wine: history, wine appellations and pairings