italian lakes
22 June 2018   •   Snap Italy

Italian lakes: 5 Italian destinations not to be missed

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«Five trips to discover the most suggestive corners of our Peninsula, with a panoramic view of the Italian lakes.»

Choose the destination or itinerary for your weekend at the lake, many destinations among the sunny Italian lakes, among villas of other times, flower gardens, but also protected areas, wetlands and oases of flora and fauna. Choose how to best use your free time at the lake, including walking, trekking, the bike route you prefer, or simply visiting the villages, churches and monuments that give life to so many landscapes of extraordinary beauty to make your week-end unforgettable.

Lake of Montepulciano

We start with Tuscany, specifically in the Senese Val di Chiana, where the Lago of Chiusi is located, formed by two tributaries, the Tresa and the Montelungo, and, heading for the north, feeds the nearby lake of Montepulciano as an outlet, which, in turn, feeds the Chiana master canal. An ancient legend tells that in the clear nights the beautiful Goddess of Heaven comes to reflect herself in the beautiful waters of Lake Chiusi, also known as Lago Chiaro di Luna from this mythological presence, which for centuries has kept company to all the inhabitants of the place. It’s a body of water, of about 300 hectares, which reaches a maximum depth of 5 meters and that, together with the nearby Lake of Montepulciano, is a particularly interesting place from a naturalistic point of view, especially for the fauna and flora typical of wet environments; it’s also a particularly suitable destination for a romantic weekend, as lovers can fantasize about the romances of gods and heroines in the moonlight, perhaps after discovering the town of Chiusi, considered among the oldest Etruscan cities, which offers its visitors different monuments, but above all it showcases splendid ruins brought to light by countless excavations. The Labyrinth of Porsenna is certainly one of the most fascinating visits to be undertaken in an atmosphere full of mystery. Starting from the Cathedral Museum, in Piazza Duomo, one enters directly into the labyrinth that a legend identifies as the secret path that leads to the magnificent tomb of the Etruscan king Porsenna, buried in a golden sarcophagus. In reality it’s an Etruscan aqueduct, consisting of tunnels that were meant to collect water in large basins. Have we stimulated your curiosity of Italian lakes? Keep reading, there’s more coming.

Lake Maggiore

If you are feeling adventurous, traveling on the waters of Lake Maggiore means crossing the borders; the national ones, if you reach its northernmost part in the Swiss territory, but also the regional ones that compete for the two shores: western in Piedmont, eastern in Lombardy. But it also means entering a time machine to get lost in the history of the Borromeo family and in a blue horizon surrounded by mountains and villages. Amongst the Italian lakes, Lake Maggiore is the second in Italy for the surface: in fact, its name “Maggiore” derives from the fact that in the past it was the largest among the pre-alpine lakes. Arona, Piedmontese shore south of the lake, was the “capital” of the “Borromeo State”, the family that for centuries presided over the area and that gave birth to the cardinal Carlo Borromeo, the saint depicted in the Colossus who bears the same name, the imposing Sancarlone, which with its 30 meters is the symbol of the town. The Isola Bella is recognizable by the baroque palace flanked by the beautiful Italian garden that reaches 37 meters laid out on 10 descending terraces. The Isola dei Pescatori, also called Isola Superiore due to its northernmost position, is the most picturesque and the only one to be permanently inhabited; it’s perfect for a short walk through the alleys and colourful houses. Isola Madre is the largest: here you will find precious furnishings from the historic homes of the Borromeo family and a lush garden of rare plants and exotic flowers, where peacocks, parrots and pheasants live freely. To end the day with a peek from the top, you have to climb Mount Sasso del Ferro and hope for a clear sky that allows you to admire a magnificent view of the lake and the double crown of the Alps and the Pre-Alps, on the lakes of Varese and the Pianura Padana.

Lake Garda

During the weekend one escapes from the cities to find some relaxation. This is what happens in Gargano, where Lake Garda is located, which acts as a link between three regions, Lombardy (province of Brescia), Veneto (province of Verona) and Trentino-Alto Adige (province of Trento). In Roman times the lake was known as Benaco, while today it is better known as Lake Garda, deriving from the name of the town on the Veronese side of the lake, which, together with another famous lake, Gardone Riviera, testifies to the Germanic presence that goes from the 6th to the 8th century, in particular the Longobard one. The name Garda, with which the lake is already called in some later documents, is the evolution of the Germanic voice warda, or “watch place” or “place of observation. It is the largest Italian lake, third by depth, and a magical and picturesque place whose uncontaminated landscapes allow you to live every day in close contact with the beauties of what appears to be the most extensive and characteristic municipality of the Riviera dei Limoni, also known as “The Pearl of Garda”. This is the land where David H. Lawrence, an illustrious English poet and writer, stayed with his sweetheart Frieda for several months, in what was known as Villa Igea. In this place it is possible to relive with new eyes those streets and alleys that have remained unchanged in the passing of time, where you can let yourself be inebriated by the typical Mediterranean flavor, captivated by the blue of the lake, by the green of the mountains, by the olive trees, by the vegetable gardens and, above all, of the ancient lemon houses. Surely one of the most famous italian lakes

Lake of Lesina

For all lovers of fishing, we conclude with Lake of Lesina, north of Puglia, between the Tavoliere delle Puglie and the Gargano promontory. About 22 km long and 2.4 km wide, in terms of size it is the ninth Italian lake and the second in southern Italy. Its waters are salty. Through two canals, the Acquarotta and the Schiapparo, the lagoon communicates with the Adriatic Sea, from which it is separated by a dune, the Bosco Isola. Numerous streams ensure a decent supply of fresh water to the lake, while the subterranean contribution of the groundwater, as well as the meteoric one, is not secondary. It is the most shallow among Italian lakes. Its waters are mainly populated by eels, a major source of income for the municipality of Lesina. The lake, of coastal origin, was formed in part by the accumulation of lake sediments coming from the rivers located upstream of the basin, and partly from the accumulation of lacustrine deposits coming from the margins of the lake itself. In the eastern part of the lake there is the Lago di Lesina Nature Reserve, astate-protected natural area established in 1981.

Lake Varano

Lake Varano is an Apulian lake belonging entirely to the province of Foggia and divided between the towns of Cagnano Varano, Ischitella and Carpino. Located on the north coast of the Gargano, traditionally it is called “lake”, when in reality it is a lagoon. Excavated in the garganic limestone mass, between the promontory of Monte d’Elio and the tip of Rodi Garganico, on the homonymous island of the lake there is the state natural reserve Isola di Varano. Established in 1977, it is an integral nature reserve, and occupies an area of ​​145 hectares, within the Gargano National Park.


Argia Renda

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