Italy // Rome and Lazio //

Lago di Bracciano

The closest of northern Lazio’s lakes to Rome, Lago di Bracciano fills an enormous volcanic crater, a smooth, roughly circular expanse of water that’s popular – but not too popular – with Romans keen to escape the city’s summer heat. It’s nothing spectacular, with few real sights and a landscape of rather plain, rolling countryside, but its shores are fairly peaceful even on summer Sundays, and you can eat excellent lake fish in its restaurants. The lake’s main settlement is BRACCIANO on the western shore, a small town that was catapulted into the news when Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes got married here in 2006.

The best place to swim in the lake is from the beach at Lungolago Argenti, a ten-minute walk along Via del Lago from Bracciano Town. You can rent a boat and picnic on the beach – or eat in one of the nearby restaurants.