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The lakes of northern Lazio

Culture

Few know that the verdant region of Lazio, of which Rome is its principal city, is a land rich in lakes, many formed from the craters of extinct volcanoes. This means that, while Hotel de Russie is a calm oasis from which to enjoy your Roman getaway, those seeking a cool breeze and clear waters are never far away from the opportunity to relax next to shimmering lakes this summer.

 

Lakes Bracciano and Martignano

47km from Rome

Framed by the picturesque swell of the Sabatini mountains, Bracciano-Martignano National Park is home to two eponymous lakes. Limited boat traffic and stringent water quality guidelines mean they are crystal-clear and ideal for canoeing, scuba diving, sailing or even a leisurely swim. On dry land, visitors can wander the many marked trails and picnic by the shore in total tranquillity, or for a real beach experience, visit the medieval town of Anguillara Sabazia with its idyllic sandy cove. Alternatively, for exceptional views and a journey through medieval art, head to Bracciano, crowned by the pentagonal Orsini-Odescalchi Castle, which houses a museum brimming with historic pictures, frescoes and furniture.

 

Lake Vico

67km from Rome

Also formed in a volcanic basin and part of a nature reserve, Vico is Italy’s highest lake at over 500 metres above sea level. Surrounded by forests, beaches, the Cimini Hills and the awe-inspiring Fogliano and Venere mountains, it’s easy to see how this landscape has been romanticised: local legend says the lake was created by epic hero Hercules when his club smashed into the earth. As Vico is a drinking-water reservoir, motorised vehicles are prohibited, but you can still glide across the lake’s calm surface in a kayak or canoe. Finish your day trip with a visit to Caparola, which is famously home to papal estate Villa Farnese, or to Ronciglione, where narrow streets lead to a small castle and beautiful cathedral.

 

Lake Bolsena

125km from Rome

A little further away, situated on the borders with Umbria and Tuscany, Lake Bolsena is absolutely worthy of a chauffeured excursion. This vast expanse of deep blue water, surrounded by black-sand beaches, is Europe’s largest volcanic lake. Its legendary cleanliness means a vast range of plants and animals call Bolsena home – use a snorkel to discover them for yourself. Visit the lake island of Bisentina by ferry and embark on a guided trip to discover ancient oratories, chapels and the domed church of Saints Giacomo and Cristoforo. On the shores of the lake, there are a number of beautiful towns to explore, starting with the eponymous Bolsena, known for its fresh eels – Pope Martin IV’s penchant for these was famously noted in The Divine Comedy by Dante.

 

Discover the lakes of northern Lazio with a day trip from Hotel de Russie, which our Concierge team will be delighted to arrange. Email reservations.derussie@roccofortehotels.com or call +39 06 32 888 830.

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