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Lakes, rivers and waterfalls where to bathe in Italy

Looking for a refreshing alternative to the sea? Italy abounds with lakes, rivers and waterfalls perfect for swimming! Discover them with us!

  • Bathing lakes
  • Rivers to bathe in
  • Waterfalls where to bathe
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Lakes, rivers and waterfalls are an excellent alternative to the sea, especially if you want to plan a quick summer weekend away to cool off from the heat, escape the chaos of the city and steer clear of crowded beaches.

Let's discover some of the lakes, rivers and waterfalls where you can swim in Italy!

Lake Bracciano in Lazio

North of Rome, in the Regional Park of Bracciano-Martinano, there is a beautiful lake of volcanic origin that welcomes tourists in search of a refreshing swim: Lake Bracciano

Lake Bracciano is gigantic. With a surface area of 56 km2, it is the third largest lake in Italy. So, which beaches are best for swimming? Read on and we’ll tell you!

In Anguillara families will love Vigna di Valle beach: fine sand, calm and shallow water, plus plenty of beach resorts and refreshment stands.

The beach of Lungolago Argenti located right in Bracciano is perhaps the best known beach of all. Here you can sign up for windsurfing lessons at the well-known windsurfing center. Finally, if you are travelling with your four-legged friend, Gabbiani beach is the spot for you.

For a stop and a dip in Lake Bracciano, we recommend staying at one of our farmhouses in Bracciano!

Alimini Lakes in Apulia


#otranto #tramonto #laghialimini

Un post condiviso da Dino Longo (@dino_longo) in data: Mar 15, 2018 at 5:56 PDT

The beach at Alimini Lakes in Apulia has received five Blue Flags from Legambiente for the highest standards of cleanliness, and features 6 km of fine sand and crystal clear water.

Once the two lakes were united, but today they are separated: Alimini Grande is fed by sea water, while Alimini Piccolo is a freshwater lake. The two stretches of water are parallel to the sea with dunes stretching in between.

To get there, just cross the pine forest located along the road from Torre Sant'Andrea to Otranto.

The waters of the Alimini Lakes are turquoise, clean and especially suitable for children as they are very shallow. Keep in mind, however, that many stretches of shoreline can only be reached on foot or via a special shuttle.

The entire territory surrounding the Alimini Lakes is a natural habitat that hosts many species of fauna and flora typical of Salento, so much so that it was recently declared a specially  protected area: try to plan a pleasant exploratory walk!

➡ For a stop and a dip in the Alimini lakes we recommend staying at one of our farmhouses in Otranto!

Lake Caldaro in Trentino Alto Adige

Do you know which lake is the largest bathing lake in Trentino Alto Adige? Lake Caldaro!

Located along the South Tyrolean wine route just 20 km from Bolzano, Lake Caldaro is positioned between the Mendola massif and Monte di Mezzo at an altitude of 216 metres.

Nestled among vineyards and surrounded by paths suitable for hiking, Nordic walking and cycling, this lake is the ideal destination for anyone in search of outdoor sports and fun.

Of course, Lake Caldaro is also perfect for swimming: there are four beach resorts that welcome tourists looking to cool off. Beware of the temperature, however: the water is very cold and reaches a maximum of 18°!

An intriguing legend revolves around this mountain lake. Its origins are, in fact, shrouded in mystery: it’s said that where the lake now stands, there was once a city full of evil inhabitants and a single family with a noble heart. One evening, dressed as two vagrants, Jesus and Peter came to the village and asked for refreshment, but only the kind family give the travelers a jug of water. When the other villagers refused to offer any help, Jesus overturned the water in the jug triggering a storm that flooded the entire city, and that is how Lake Caldaro was born.

➡ For a stop and a dip in Lake Caldaro we recommend staying at one of our farmhouses in Caldaro!

Lake Accesa in Tuscany

Now let's move on to Maremma in Tuscany. Lake Accesa is located a few kilometers from Massa Marittima in an area rich in natural and archaeological wonders. Entirely surrounded by a dense forest, the lake boasts transparent waters and beautiful sunbathing and picnic areas immersed in a lush vegetation of green meadows, reeds and shrubs. 

Some say the waters of Lake Accesa have a relaxing and calming effect, and that they sleep more than usual after bathing in the lake.

Near Lacke Accesa there is an archaeological site where recent excavations have shed light on an Etruscan settlement containing of the remains of houses and a necropolis. The findings are featured in the Archaeological Museum of Massa Marittima.

➡ For a stop and a dip in Lake Accesa we recommend staying at one of our farmhouses in Massa Marittima!

Lake Cavazzo in Friuli Venezia Giulia

This splendid lake in Friuli Venezia Giulia touches three municipalities: Cavazzo Carnico, Bordano and Trasaghis, and is aptly nicknamed “the lake of the three municipalities”. Legend has it that the lake was formed by tears falling from the sky in the form of rain.

At Lake Cavazzo watersports like windsurfing and rowing abound. The lake is an ideal destination for anyone who wants to learn how to sail or for those who enjoy fishing. Along its inviting beaches you can go for a swim or take a pedal boat for a cruise. 

Our tip: just 10 minutes from Lake Cavazzo you will find the House of Butterflies. With a vast collection of butterflies and insects on display it’s well worth a visit, especially for travelers with children.

➡ For a stop and a dip in Lake Cavazzo we recommend staying at one of our farmhouses in the province of Udine!

Lake Iseo in Lombardy

We conclude our review of Italian bathing lakes with one of the most famous lakes in Lombardy, Lake Iseo.

Among the beaches where you can stop for a swim we suggest: The Spiaggetta, located in Iseo it offers a lawn area free of charge and many services such as showers, deckchair rentals and a refreshment stand; the free beach of Marone featuring white stones and a beautiful view of the mountains; Monte Isola, the largest Italian lake island which can be reached by ferry from different points around the lake; and the beach of Lido Perla Sebina di Sale Marasino which provides guests with a large expanse of lawn along the water and sunbed rentals to make your visit more comfortable.

➡ For a stop and a dip in Lake Iseo we recommend staying at one of our farmhouses in the province of Brescia!

River Trebbia in Emilia Romagna

The waters of the River Trebbia are famous for being some of the cleanest in all of Europe. Transparent and polychromatic, the river features coves, gorges and beautiful corners to relax in. Located in Emilia Romagna, it’s a quick trip from either Milan or Genova: in just a couple of hours you can reach the river’s crystal clear waters!

Along the River Trebbia there are several places to stop for a swim. At Ponte Organasco, a small village perched almost 500 meters above sea level in the province of Piacenza, the river becomes turquoise and many fearless young adults dive in its waters. Bobbio and Marsaglia are two of the most popular spots along the river, and in Ottone you will find a striking beach consisting of white pebbles and rocks.

➡ For a stop and a dip in the River Trebbia we recommend staying at one of our farmhouses in the province of Piacenza!

Alcantara Gorges in Sicily

And now we head to Sicily between the towns of Castiglione di Sicilia and Motta Camastra.

The Alcantara Gorges have a very long history. The Alcantara riverbed was formed about 300 thousand years ago, but the current appearance of the river dates back to the last 8 thousand years.

To best visit the gorges, we recommend starting at one of paths in the Botanical and Geological Park where you can read information and curiosities about the formation of this extraordinary place. You can choose either the Mediterranean Garden Path or Eleonora Path.

The most famous part of the Alcantara Gorges is its small beach where the walk ends. Elevators allow you to descend to the river and stop on the beach where you can admire the lava formations and geometric beauty of the columns from below.

➡ For a stop and a dip in the Alcantara Gorges we recommend staying at one of our farmhouses in the province of Catania or the province of Messina!

Guje di Garavot in Piedmont

One hour's drive from Turin in the Valchiusella you will find the Garavot Gorges. The gorges can only be reached by a path that starts from the provincial road leading to Traversella. The walk, leaving the car in Almese, takes about 20 minutes.

Once you arrive you can admire the Salto del Pis, a small paradise 14 meters high, located in a basin 30 meters wide. Here you can relax along the banks of the river and, if you are an expert, organize a dive.

A trip to the Garavot Gorges is a great option for those looking for peace and quiet!

➡ For a stop and a dip in the Garavot Gorges we recommend staying at one of our holiday farms in the province of Turin!

River Cecina in Tuscany


#cascatelle #fiumececina

Un post condiviso da Marko Arkaxhiu (@markoarkaxhiu) in data: Lug 20, 2016 at 10:48 PDT

To swim in Tuscany’s River Cecina take this route: follow the road from Saline di Volterra to Pomarance (read our article about visiting Pomarance and its surroundings). When you get to the iron bridge turn left and follow the signs for Masso delle Fanciulle. After 10 minutes you will arrive at a clearing where you can leave your car and continue on foot.

Here you will find the River Cecina, lovely beaches and the famous Masso delle Fanciulle!

The name of this place is linked to a local legend which claims that three young women seeking to escape the abuse of a gentleman jumped from the rock and drowned.

Here the river flows in a gorge completely covered by Mediterranean scrub. The water is clean and full of fish and the temperature is bearable: all the ingredients to stop for a swim, don't you think?

➡ For a stop and a dip in the River Cecina we recommend staying at one of our farmhouses in Volterra!

The Malbacco Waterfall in Tuscany

Near Seravezza, in the province of Lucca in Tuscany, flows a very clear river that creates a spectacular waterfall.

Called the Malbacco Waterfall, it is truly unique.

Thanks to its erosive force, the waterfall has shaped the rock and formed a natural slide from which you can dive or simply slide down into the waters below.

Along the entire river there are many other pools and waterfalls. In addition to swimming, you can walk along the banks, take photographs and listen to the sounds of nature.

➡ For a stop and a dip in the Malbacco Falls we recommend staying at one of our farmhouses in the province of Lucca!

Fermona Waterfall in Lombardy

Just below the small town of Ferrera di Varese lies the Fermona Waterfall, whose picturesque lake and lush vegetation make it a must-see if you are in the Varese area.

To get there, just walk down the road of Valcuvia. There are actually three waterfalls, but the main one is 30 meters high. At the base of the waterfall a small lake has formed, making it an ideal spot for a refreshing swim in summer.

The wondrous attribute of this waterfall are the countless ferns which cover its damp rock walls.

➡ For a stop and a dip in the Fermona Falls we recommend staying at one of our farmhouses in the province of Varese!

The Saturnia Mill Falls in Tuscany

We conclude our review of Italian lakes, rivers and waterfalls ideal for swimming by returning to Tuscany.

The Saturnia Mill Falls are perhaps the most famous Italian geothermal pools, as well as one of the most beautiful places in Maremma. The pools are open year-round, both day and night!

Not only beautiful to behold, their healing sulphurous waters are also a renowned cure-all and emerge from the spring at a very pleasant temperature of 37°.

The only sore point is the crowd: the Saturnia Mill Falls tend to be full of people. But don't worry... there's room for everyone!

➡ For a stop and a dip in the Saturnia Mill Falls we recommend staying at one of our farmhouses in Saturnia!

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