The best lakes in Italy: visit the secret and hidden Italian lakes

It’s true that Europe is as hot these days as the United States. It might not stop your travel plans, travel dreams, or travel plans, but we can offer you some truly glorious relief from letting this summer be totally ruined: immerse your whole body in water. fresh and cool water. And take in the views as you float there.

Because Italy won’t stop being so pretty, the country’s lakes are even more stunning than anything you’ll find closer to home. And many waters here, some of them alpine in nature, remain cold all year round. But the refreshing aspect is not the only temptation.

Forget Garda and Lake Como, which are usually overcrowded, expensive and posh. In these more hidden lakes, you can swim through a sunken city like a mini Atlantis, feel energy spikes that set clocks ticking, hear old legends about the seduction of witches, and be surrounded by stone villages on the cliffs. surrounding the waters. Here are the most fascinating lakes to visit in Italy.

Scanno Lake | Davide Seddio/Moment/Getty Images

Lake Scanno

There’s something spooky about this heart-shaped lake. Surrounded by pristine valleys and snow-capped peaks of Abruzzo, Lake Scanno inspired many Lochness-type tales. But there are no monsters here, just mysterious underwater magnetic fields that drive clocks crazy and have caused electricity spikes over the centuries. Residents of the cliff-top village of Scanno say the lake has a “soul” and “spiritual power,” and some even honor it as a deity. Swimming, pedal boating and bird watching are the best way to recharge your batteries and feel that electric traction.

prague lake | Photography Bento/Moment/Getty Images

prague lake

Want to work on your tan without roasting? How about heading to an alpine lake formed between the fossil-strewn peaks of the Dolomites, where you can hike along the banks and sit in a cozy waterside bar and restaurant? Here you will find purplish blue rocks and water, freezing cold even in summer, with a silvery tint. prague, located in the Alto Adige region on the border with Austria, is a little gem of water where aristocratic families still flock to detox. Surrounded by a dense forest suitable for hiking, you can also rent a dinghy or organize a picnic on benches and wooden tables.

Turano Lake | leeks/Shutterstock

Lake Turano

Where the Fallisci tribes once camped in the wild countryside near Rome now stands an artificial lake built in the 1930s to supply power to nearby power stations. Two cliff-top towns made up of stone dwellings with wrap-around balconies overlook the sparkling green water. The view at Lake Turano is fabulous, and many activities await you on the water. On the pebble beaches you will find dinghies and canoes for hire, guided fishing boat trips, giant carp fishing contests (just for sport – the carp are then thrown back into the water) and bike rides along the banks.

Capodacqua Lake | Yannick Tylle/Corbis/Getty Images

Capo D’Acqua Lake

Scuba diving in a 26-foot-deep lake might not seem like your thing at first, but wait until you experience this one: swimming through an entire underwater medieval village with mills, ruins of stone houses crumbled, streets, tree trunks and old objects that have been flooded over time, with giant trout as companions. It’s doubled atlantis of the Gran Sasso National Park in the Apennine Mountains. The water is cold all year round, which makes it a perfect heat killer, especially in August, and guarantees unique underwater visibility, attracting divers from all over the world.

Lake Iseo | Leonid Andronov/Shutterstock

Lake Iseo

This very northern lake, located in Lombardy, was formed when the glaciers melted a very long time ago, drawing the pure water from the mountains into a magnificent pool. It’s an intriguing place: sometimes you’ll find thick fog and the fishy smell of sardines left to dry in the sun. You can hire a canoe or fisherman’s gondola to visit the many small islands in the lake. One of them, known as Montisola, is made up of a mountain sticking out of deep blue water, where the main activity is indulging in these delicious sardine specialties.

Martignano Lake | Francesco Cantone/Shutterstock

Martignano Lake

If you’re a dog fan and don’t mind swimming next to a Terranova or a Rottweiler, the little Martignano Lake near the city of Viterbo in central Italy is one for you. A former volcanic crater, this lake features landscapes that are oddly exotic for these regions, with palm trees and cacti lining dark pebble shores. Dog beaches are the highlight here. Connected to the main road by a dusty rural track, it’s secluded and quiet (and great for camping), but also comes with a lovely lakeside seafood taverna.

Lake Bracciano | DinoPh/Shutterstock

Lake Bracciano

When the Romans need a break, they flock here. To Lake Bracciano, visitors can discover four different medieval lakeside villages and the magnificent Odescalchi Castle where Tom Cruise celebrated his second marriage. Since it serves as the source of drinking water for the Eternal City (and is used to put out forest fires), motorboats are prohibited on this lake. The water is as clean and pure as a mountain spring, ideal for swimming and sailing. Be on the lookout for the cute little beavers that populate the shores.

Posta Fibreno Lake | SerFeo/Shutterstock

Posta Fibreno Lake

There is a magical atmosphere in Posta Fibreno Lake, just north of Naples, where time seems to stand still. Water lilies, old trees leaning towards the lake, lianas, geese, swans and fluorescent green water create a dreamy atmosphere. There is a village nearby which seems to be inhabited by a group of locals who spend hours looking at the lake. We totally understand why. You can rent pedal boats or just relax on the grass. Cozy guesthouses, small fish taverns and panoramic lakeside bars serve fish-based appetizers.

Paula Lake | ValerioMei/Shutterstock

Paola Lake

Paola Lake is a rare and wonderful place where you can experience both marine and lake life. Located in the protected Circeo park along the coast between Rome and Naples, you will find salt water and plenty of canoeing as your main activity. The views here are unique: you’ll pass grazing buffaloes, watermelon fields and kiwi plantations. Once part of a larger swamp, ancient Romans came here to detox in lavish villas and spas. The fascinating Mount Circe – where, according to Homer, the witch Circe bewitched Odysseus – rises at the foot of the lake and has the profile of the sleeping witch.

Salto Lake | essevu/Shutterstock

Salto Lake

Meaning “Jump Lake” in Italian, this aquatic destination lives up to its name, especially if you’re into thrill-seeking water sports. Located in the Lazio region, thanks to the strong mountain winds, Salto Lake is a secret spot for wakeboarders and surfers who can go wild on the waves without fear of running into noisy bathers. The lake has fjords, a zig-zag shape, and is circled by a road lined with chestnut and oak forests. You’ll also find tiny bridges over creeks, as well as a medieval stone fortress and town to explore by bike or on foot.

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Silvia Marchetti is a contributor for Thrillist.

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