It is the “crown jewel” of the volcanoes of Lazio, small, clean and surrounded only by woods.
It is Lake Vico, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the region and in all central Italy. In order to protect its naturalistic value, it has long been included as part of a nature reserve protecting plants, animals and landscapes.
But it also ensures the relaxing atmosphere in which visitors are immersed, whether they are birdwatchers or photographers “hunting” images, canoeists, trekkers, mountain bikers or simple lovers of walking and of silence.
The lake, with the nearby hills, is now the survivor of the ancient activity of the Vicano volcano, which began about 800,000 years ago and ended less than 90,000 years ago.
The most characteristic environments are represented by the lake, with the cane thicket that surrounds it almost everywhere, the wetland in correspondence with the locality of Pantanacce, the natural meadows-pastures, the arable land, the hazelnut groves – typical of this part of the Viterbo area – and, higher up, the chestnut groves; followed by the coppice and tall trees, with woods of turkey oaks and beeches in the highest part.
The beautiful beech forest of Mount Venere, with its truly imposing exemplars, is populated by three species of woodpeckers.
As to other fauna, the waters of the lake are home to many species of birds including the great crested grebe, ducks and coots, and waders such as the redshank and the common sandpiper.
Among the mammals living here are badgers, martens, wild boars and many small forest rodents such as the hazel dormouse, the edible dormouse and the garden dormouse.
In Caprarola, together with nearby Ronciglione the municipality included in the four thousand hectares of the Nature Reserve, stands the monumental Palazzo Farnese built first in the sixteenth century on designs by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger and subsequently on plans by Vignola.