Bolsena Lake - It is the main vulcanic lake in Italy and fifth in line of all the others. It is situated at an altitude of 305 metres above sea-level. It stretches over 114 square kilometers and has a maximum depth of 146 metres.
Along it there are numerous tracts of sandy beaches the majority of which are equipped with bathing establishments.
The surrounding hills that reach 600 metres in height are covered by a thick vegetation and the two islands that rise up from its waters makes this lake one of the most interesting areas of countryside in the whole of Tuscia. Human presence in the area dates way back as prove the findings of remains of a lake village (at Gran Carro) and of a submerged prehistoric pirogue.

The bottom of the lake makes an ideal habitat for numerous fish species such as perches, pikes, eels, aethernas, whitefishes (which only live in clear waters and represent half of the entire catch), tenches, laxus largo, grey mullets, carps and cavedans.
Now we reach the two islands.
The Bisentina Island, 17 hectares, can be reached by motorboat service that leaves from Bolsena and Capodimonte and can be visited only with a guide. Among the thick undergrowth of oaks and fragrant rose bushes emerge numerous monuments, ranging from the remains of an Etruscan necropolis to a 15th century convent, from the church of San Giacomo e San Cristoforo by Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane, inside which is buried Ranuccio II, to Palazzo Farnese (by Vignola) and to the many small churches situated on the tops of the small hills.
Particularly curious is "La Malta dei Papi", a horrible life-sentence prison situated at the base of a vertical well that was for ecclesiastics guilty of heresy.
The Martana Island is smaller, 10 hectares, but equally rich in history and monuments. On this island the queen of the Goti Amalasunta, daughter of Teodorico, was held prisoner and then assassined in 535 a.C.
The remains of the old church of Santo Stefano and the ruins of an ancient castle are also visible on the island.
Tuscia Mirabilis Sabato 20 Dicembre 2008

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  1. Catherine Urbani  

    January 19, 2009 at 9:17 AM

    What a wonderful sight, complimenti, I have just come across, Italy shire. Shall be advising my guests to click onto Italy Shire prior to visiting Italy.
    Catherine Urbani (Zia Cathy's Country Guest House &Location)

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