Lake Bolsena

Lake Bolsena: discover Europe’s largest lake of volcanic origin.

Lake Bolsena

Lake Bolsena lies on the border between Lazio and Tuscany, an area famous as being the center of Etruscan settlements until the 7th Century BC. It is the largest volcanic lake in Europe and started forming over 370,000 years ago. After an eruption land collapsed to create the crater which now forms the floor of the lake. The two islands, Bisentina and Martana, were created by two further underwater eruptions that followed the first.

The lake is home to many different varieties of fish and sea-life, and borders fine, black sand beaches. The area rarely floods with tourists, given that the majority overlook this lake for its larger siblings in the north. Bolsena itself is a lakeside town that is very pleasant and moonlights as a resort. The lakeside towns are famous for their beautiful gardens and the lake area holds an annual flower festival that is really quite delightful!

The town of Bolsena is best-known for the legend of The Miracle of Bolsena. In the mid 13th Century a polish priest passed through here on his way back from a pilgrimage to Rome. Saying mass at the Chiesa Santa Christina, blood started to trickle from the holy Host. A year later, the Pope, having heard and verified the facts to his satisfaction, instituted the feat day of Corpus Christi. Today, many visitors to the town still visit the church in remembrance of these events.

Nestled between two regions with different but equally delicious gastronomic cultures, the cuisine of the lake and its surroundings is truly exquisite! Moreover, it is a great place from which to explore both Lazio and Tuscany. In the immediate area you can find Capodimonte, Montefiscone and the Monaldeschi fortress. All of these make for interesting and fun day trips.

Though there is no train station nearby, buses leave to and from Viterbo. There are also plenty of roads which give you easy access when arriving by car.