Lake Bolsena

Its 110 square metres of surface make Lake Bolsena the largest volcanic basin in Europe.

Perfect for water sports, especially sailing and windsurfing, it is also the ideal environment for fresh water fish. Actually, the real speciality of this lake are eels. They are even mentioned in the Divine Comedy, in which Dante reminisces about eating them “alla vernaccia”. Pope Martin IV considered this dish a delicacy and enjoyed it when he stayed at Montefiascone.

A specific boat was used to fish eels. This typical boat of Bolsena is now used for tours of the lake.

During the boat tours you can see all the nooks and crannies, coves otherwise not visible, atmospheric corners, verdant banks and green stretches of water hemmed by luxuriant cane thickets.

There are two lovely islands in the middle of the lake, the Bisentina and the Martana, abounding with traces of antiquity and lush vegetation.

There is an interesting itinerary for cycling enthusiasts. You should begin at Montefiascone on the lake front and ride in the direction of Marta then on to Capodimonte. Here you should deviate towards Bisentium to see some fascinating ruins.

The road is no longer paved from here onward. Once past the San Magno Chapel, continue to the crossroad where you can turn towards Gradoli.

The lake is part of two long-distance itineraries. One is the Via Francigena, the road along which the pilgrims travelled during the Middle Ages from Canterbury in England to Rome. Bolsena was an important stopover along this road. The other is the Sentiero dei Briganti, which runs between Vulci and Acquapendente and retraces the route used by outlaws during the 19th century.

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