Rome (province) > Lake Bracciano
Lake Bracciano (Lago di Bracciano) is a volcanic lake in the Italian region of Lazio, 32 km northwest of Rome. It has a perimeter of approximately 32 km surrounded by volcanic hills, and one mountain to the north called Rocca Romana. Two towns sit on the lake shore: Anguillara Sabazia and Trevignano Romano, in addition to Bracciano which overlooks the lake from a high hill to the South West, Manziana which is set about two miles back to the West, and Vicarello, the site of the ancient Aqua Appolinaris baths to the north west.
The lake is a popular location for Romans at weekends, particularly during the summer when the area can get extremely crowded. It serves as a drinking water reservoir for Rome and the use of motorboats is forbidden. This makes Bracciano one of the cleanest lakes of Italy. Swimming, sailing and other watersports are permitted.
The towns of Anguillara and Bracciano can be reached by train from Ostiense railway station in Rome. By car, take Rome’s ring road (the GRA) to the Cassia bis exit and follow the signs to the lake. Alternatively, you can take the coastal A12 Autostrada or the Via Aurelia in the direction of Civitavecchia, leaving it at Cerveteri or Furbara-Sasso and following signs to Bracciano.
Regional busses called COTRAL are operated by the region of Lazio and call hourly at Canale Monterrano, Manziana, Bracciano and Anguillara then descend to Rome along the via Clodia terminating at the Saxa Rubra bus garage close to the RAI television Studios on the via Flaminia. Approximately one bus every two hours from Bracciano passes Trevignano Romano in each direction, and one bus every two hours also reaches Bracciano Hospital.
The local municipalities of Manziana, Bracciano and Anguillara also provide small orange mini-busses which connect their outlying communities at certain times of the day.
In the summer months, a tourist boat connects Bracciano's Lakeside beach area with piers in the centre of Anguillara and Trevignano. The boat makes three complete tours of the lake in a day in a triangular route missing out most of the west side of the lake.
- Bracciano is a small town mainly famous for a well-preserved 15th Century castle (Castello Odescalchi), which has hosted a number of events, most famously the wedding of actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes on 18 November 2006. 
- Anguillara Sabazia is built on a small cape that sticks out into the lake. Three kilometres east of the town lies the small Lake Martignano. This is not accessible by car and requires a short walk from the parking area. Unlike Lake Bracciano it is very undeveloped.
- Trevignano Romano is on the north side of the lake. It has some pleasant lakeside walks and is the lake’s main sailing center.
- The picturesque town of Manziana is on the west side of the lake, with great views of the whole lake, beautiful boutique shops along the main shopping street and the region's finest cuisine, at Il Sorcetto restaurant.
- Monterano the ghost-town is 15 minutes west of Manziana destroyed by Napoleon's armies in 1790.
- Italian Air Force Museum (Museo Storico Aeronautica Militare), Vigna Di Valle (on the southernmost point of the lake between Bracciano and Anguillara), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 09.30-16.30 in winter and 09.30-17.30 in summer. Closed on Mondays. A superb collection of planes housed in the hangars of Italy's first seaplane base. Exhibits range from the pioneers of flight and WWI fighters up to Italian military planes of the present day. This is one of the largest collections of its type in the world and is really well displayed. Free of charge.
- Explore the conduit and sources of the ancient Aqua Traiana, Trajan's Aqueduct which circumnavigated the lake and had sources all around its volcanic foothills, from Pisciarelli, and Santa Fiora, to Vicarello and Bassano in the North and also East of Trevignano Romano. Trajan's Aqueduct was partly rebuilt by Pope Paul V in 1612 and named the Acqua Paola and much of the Acqua Paola remains in working order today.
- Fedeli department store in central Bracciano (via Principe di Napoli) offers fine jewelery and fine clothing to wealthy widows and elegant ladies with large alimony cheques.
- Bracciano Due on the far side of the via Braccianese from the town centre has a small Mall-style shopping centre with a reasonably sized CONAD hypermarket, a Euronics Consumer Electronics store, a Feltrinelli Bookstore, a nail bar and beauty-treatments shop, and various other boutiques (mostly focused on female vanity), a pizzeria and a coffee-shop. There are no clothing stores for men or children.
- Kesp outdoor commercial centre on the boundary of Manziana, arriving from Bracciano, has a Carrefour supermarket, a large Electronics superstore called Medimax, a large but understocked shoeshop, and a pricey DIY store.
- Chalet del Lago. Perfect setting right on the lake with great views of Anguillara. Has been used as a set by several directors, including Fellini. Good wine list. (Just before Anguillara as you approach from Bracciano) 
Bracciano has two particularly western-friendly eating and drinking establishments:
- Donnegans is an extensive pub in Bracciano City Centre with a spacious atmosphere, a good quality aperitivo, and a slightly expensive drinks menu. Prices are on a par with drinks in Milan or Trastevere.
- Crazy Bull is a great sports-type bar and a modern Tex-Mex restaurant on a hill above Bracciano Castle and slightly to the periphery of the city centre. However it offers good quality western food, and some variety for those whose constitutions need a break from the relentless (although delicious) pizza and pasta. Crazy Bull is also a great place to sit and drink a beer or a cocktail without travelling into Rome.
- Historians and Archaeologists may like to contact the Forum Clodii society based in Bracciano, and who run their own museum.
- Those interested in local etruscan archaeology can contact the Manziana Archaeology Group Gruppo Archeologico Romano Sezione Manziana.
- For further information about the conservation area around Lakes Bracciano and Martignano, visitors can contacts the Parks Authority Parco Regionale Naturale Bracciano Martignano.
The Etruscan tombs of Cerveteri are just 20 minutes from Bracciano to the southwest. Closer, but along a winding road to the northeast, leaving the lake at Trevignano, is Sutri, which has an interesting Roman amphitheatre carved out of rock.
|Routes through Lake Bracciano|
|END ← Viterbo ←||N S||→ North Rome → Aventino-Testaccio, Rome|