© iStock/ValerioMei
© iStock/ValerioMei

Best villages around Lake Bolsena

3 minutes to read

Lake Bolsena is located in Alta Tuscia, on the religious route of the Via Francigena, and is the largest volcanic lake in Europe. The lake is also known as the "navel of Italy" due to its shape and location right in the middle of the peninsula.

© iStock/pacaypalla
© iStock/pacaypalla
Lago di Bolsena, VT
Lago di Bolsena, VT
Lago di Bolsena, VT, 01023 Bolsena

At its center stand the Bisentina Island and Martana Island, as a result of millennia-long volcanic activity, which has formed large quantities of sediments through cooled lava. The largest of the two islands, the Bisentina, can be circumnavigated entirely, and some boats leave for daily visits. Nature here is unspoiled, except for the area where an authentic "Italian garden" was created. The island hosts several monuments, such as the Church of San Giacomo and Cristoforo, the Franciscan convent, the Villa, and the prison carved into the rock.

Bisentina Island, Lake Bolsena
Bisentina Island, Lake Bolsena
Isola Bisentina, 01010 Capodimonte VT, Italia
Martana Island Lake Bolsena
Martana Island Lake Bolsena
Isola Martana, 01010 Marta VT, Italia

Lake Bolsena was formed about 300 thousand years ago and represents a great treasure from a naturalistic, but also historical, archaeological and cultural point of view. The waters of Lake Bolsena are clean, thus, a tourist destination, allowing activities for lovers of water sports, such as canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, and sport fishing.

Fishing on the Bolsena Lake
Fishing on the Bolsena Lake
01010 Marta VT, Italia

Beaches around the lake are dark sand volcanic beaches with some pebbles. Numerous points around the perimeter of the lake are still pristine, and it is possible to do birdwatching, and see many species of birds and fish.

On the shores of this lake there are delightful medieval villages, all to be discovered.

Bolsena

The town of Bolsena stands on the north-eastern shore and represents one of the most enchanting corners of the area, due to its tree-lined lakefront and its romantic medieval village. We suggest a visit to Rocca dei Monaldeschi, which houses the Territorial Museum and the Collegiate Church of Santa Cristina, built in Romanesque style with Renaissance decoration. We also recommend a nice walk in the village of Bolsena, among ancient tuff buildings, alleys decorated with flowers and sleeping cats- it really looks like a fairytale.

© iStock/fpwing
© iStock/fpwing
Rocca dei Monaldeschi Bolsena
Rocca dei Monaldeschi Bolsena
Piazza Monaldeschi, 61, 01023 Bolsena VT, Italia
Museo della Navigazione nelle Acque Interne
Museo della Navigazione nelle Acque Interne
Viale Regina Margherita, 01010 Capodimonte, Lazio
Collegiata di Santa Cristina Bolsena
Collegiata di Santa Cristina Bolsena
Via Giuseppe Mazzini, 1, 01023 Bolsena VT, Italia

Montefiascone

Montefiascone is the largest village around Lake Bolsena, and although it does not rise directly on the lake, it overlooks the south-eastern shore of Lake Bolsena and offers a beautiful view, up to the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Maremma. Do not miss the Rocca dei Papi with the belvedere, the Renaissance Cathedral of Santa Margherita, and the San Flaviano church, built on two superimposed levels.

© iStock/LucaLorenzelli
© iStock/LucaLorenzelli
The Papal Fortress- Rocca dei Papi Montefiascone
The Papal Fortress- Rocca dei Papi Montefiascone
Piazza Urbano V, 01027 Montefiascone VT, Italia
Montefiascone Cathedral
Montefiascone Cathedral
Piazza Santa Margherita, 01027 Montefiascone VT, Italia
San Flaviano Church Montefiascone
San Flaviano Church Montefiascone
Via San Flaviano, 01027 Montefiascone VT, Italia

Marta

The town of Marta rises on the southern shores of Lake Bolsena, facing the Martana Island. The tree-lined lakeside and the small harbor are enchanting with the fishing boats because fishing here is still a traditional job. In the historic center, it is interesting to visit the Torre dell' Orologio, which is 21 meters high and the Chiesa della Collegiata.

© iStock/lauradibiase
© iStock/lauradibiase
Torre dell'orologio di Marta
Torre dell'orologio di Marta
Piazza dell'orologio, 01010 Marta, Italy
Chiesa della Collegiata Marta
Chiesa della Collegiata Marta
Via delle Cantine, 01010 Marta VT, Italia

Capodimonte

Capodimonte is a village located on a small peninsula in the south-west part of Lake Bolsena. In Capodimonte, there is a large beach with a tourist port, so in summer, the town comes alive and is populated by visitors.

Among its architectural and artistic beauties, Capodimonte offers Palazzo Borghese, which is currently the seat of the municipality, and the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta.

Palazzo Borghese Capodimonte
Palazzo Borghese Capodimonte
Piazza della Rocca, 4, 01010 Capodimonte VT, Italia
Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta Capodimonte
Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta Capodimonte
Piazza della Rocca, 01010 Capodimonte VT, Italia

The splendid Bisentina Island, which certainly deserves a visit, as well as the Archaeological Park of Monte Bisenzio, are also part of the Capodimonte municipality.

© Fondo Ambiente Italiano
© Fondo Ambiente Italiano
Monte Bisenzio Archaeological Park
Monte Bisenzio Archaeological Park
01010 Capodimonte VT, Italia

If you have a day off and want to dedicate it to visiting the best villages around Lake Bolsena, we suggest you stop in one of these gems. There you can enjoy the famous wine "Est! Est!! Est!!! of Montefiascone" (no, this is not a typo, it's the actual name), or a tasty dish of fried lattarino, a small lake fish typical in the Marta area. The atmosphere in these villages is absolutely relaxing. Take the opportunity to take some relaxation for yourself. Have a good trip!


The author

Mara Noveni

Mara Noveni

My name is Mara, I am Italian, born in Rome and raised in the wonderful Tuscany. Always in love with reading and writing, I completed this way of expressing myself through photography, especially street and travel photography. Thanks to my many and long travel experiences, I have enriched my mind and my inner life.

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