Bolsena municipality : LARGO S. GIOVANNI BATTISTA DELLA SALLE - ( Viterbo ) tel: 0761 7951
For informations and booking of structures: 0763.393110
Call center agritourism lazio : 0763.390047
Bolsena ( Viterbo ) is a town of few more than four thousands inhabitants, about 30 km far from the Chief-town.
Bolsena Lake is a lake of Central Italy formed over 300.000 years ago after the collapse of some volcanoes belonging to Mounts Vulsini chain. It has got oval shape, typical of its origin, two islands and an emissary river. It is 113,5 km3 of surface, at 305 m a.s.l., has got maximum deep of 151 m and medium deep of 81 m.
The lake lies entirely in the province of Viterbo and precisely in the Northern side, called Alta Tuscia. For a large part it laps consular street Cassia. There are many tourists settlements, that are specialized in tourism plunged inside nature, above all camping, farmhouses and bed & breakfasts.
Itinerary advise you to visit the page of agritourism lazio and farmhouses lazio where you can look at the the tourist offers of the territory of Tuscia.
ISLANDS OF THE LAKE:
- Isola Bisentina It is the largest as far as surface is concerned (17 ha). It is very interesting for tourist excursions and it can be reached using a service leaving from Capodimonte, available several times per day, only if a minimum number of passengers is reached.
A small excursion of Isola Bisentina with guided tour is included in the ticket. This is the possibility to admire an almost uncontaminated nature, composed by evergreen oak woods, Italian gardens, marvelous panoramas and many monuments such as SS. Giacomo and Cristoforo church, with its cupola made by Vignola, the Franciscan convent, the beautiful Rocchina, the small temple of S. Caterina with octagonal plan designed by Sangallo and built on an Etruscan dove-cote, rising over a rock peak facing the lake. Moreover the Crucifix chapel with frescos belonging to 1400 and finally the horrible Malta dei Papi, prison for ecclesiastics guilty of heresy, composed by a wretched and dark cell inside a hill, with few light coming from a trap-door located at 20m.
At the end of excursion the boat makes a panoramic tour of the island, so to admire the beautiful creeks of West, the great Mount Tabor in the North, the rocky sheer descents over the blue lake in the East and finally the green plan in the South toward the village of Capodimonte. Etruscans and Romans left just few traces of their stay in the island.
In XIth century the island was used as refuge from Saracen invasions. From half 1200 it became property of the lords of Bisenzio, who burned and left it after controversies with the islanders.
In 1261 Pope Urban IV reconquered the island, but in 1333 Ludovico il Bavaro, accused of heresy and then excommunicated by the Pope, destroyed it again. From 1400 it became property of family Franese and had a period of prosperity and was visited by many popes.
In 1635 it was governed by duke Castro Odoardo Farnese, who entered in conflict with the Church so to let the complete destruction of Castro. Both the islands turned back to the Church and than ceded again. Princess Beatrice Spada Potenziani, duke Fieschi Ravaschieri's wife is the actual owner.
- Isola Martana Isola Martana is located in front of inhabited center of Marta. The island have been built to protect S. Cristina's remains to avoid raids of barbarians.
Some say that in the following age, during Goth domain, their queen Amalasunta died there. Teodato, Amalasunta's cousin, wishing to get all powers, plotted and ordered a hired assassin to kill her. Today the island is private property, so the visit is not free.
From Bolsena lake, in correspondence of inhabited centre of Marta, the emissary river starts its flow toward Tirreno Sea. After passing Marta, Tuscania and Tarquinia, it reaches the sea near Lido di Tarquinia. Here, in an area surrounded by Marta river mouth and that of Mignone river, the Riserva Naturale di Popolamento Animale " Salina Di Raquinia " (Natural Reserve of Animal Peopling " Salina di Tarquinia ") have been founded.
The villages facing the lake are:
-Bolsena gives the name to the lake and it is famous for the miracle of Corpus Domini and for the plastic pictures organized by some representing actors the night of patron S. Cristina feast-day.
- Montefiascone dominates the lake with its majestic monuments, such as the Rocca and S. Margherita cupola. Ancient Episcopal seat, is famous for its wine Est! Est!! Est!!!
-Marta is famous for the celebrations in honor of Madonna del Monte, known as Festa delle Passare or Barabbata. The inhabitants live above all with agriculture, sheep-rearing or fishing.
-Capodimonte, on the lake's shore, has got a small port from where the boats leave toward the islands. you can also choose an agritourism of Capodimonte to spend an holiday at this wonderful lake.
-Valentano is famous because there Paolo Ruffini was born and because it was the heart of the èpoque of Farnese after the destruction of Castro. (1649) and the dissolution of the duchy. The ancient Farnese castle gives today hospitality to the Museum of Prehistory of Tuscia.
-Gradoli is famous for olive oil and wine, above a particular liqueur wine called Aleatico. Also this centre keeps a Farnese castle, ordered by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, become Pope Paul III.
-Grotte di Castro is a place of production of potatoes and lentils and rich of cellars (grotte), probably the origin of the name.
-San Lorenzo Nuovo, entirely rebuilt and characterized by modern architectures coming from the end of VVIIIth century, is famous for potatoes gnocchi, that can be tasted during the festival during the second decade of August.