The idea of ‘a weekend getaway’ is often linked to overcrowded beaches with sun umbrellas propped up on top of each other and not an inch of sand left visible. But Lake Martignano is an exception.
Tucked away in an extinct volcano crater, just over the hill from Lake Bracciano, Martignano is a secret gem that has miraculously escaped the destructive powers of development and, as a result, remains in pristine condition. The sparkling waters, luscious surrounding forests and beautiful beaches make it a genuine rural retreat for picnickers, nature-lovers, bikers, trekkers, and anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life in Rome.
For those a little more active, horseback riding, sailing and mountain biking are also available. The American riding school at La Melazza offers lessons in English to both children and adults.
If your picnic simply wasn’t enough, or if you find yourself at the lake as the sun sets and dinnertime approaches, there are some beautiful spots to eat. ‘Il Casale di Martignano’ and ‘La Riserva di Martignanello’ are both working farms with a B&B and a restaurant, where guests enjoy the fresh food and spectacular scenery.
From central Rome, the lake is easily accessible by road, although vehicles must be left in a designated car park, as the lake is now a part of the protected Regional Park. From the car park, a ‘navetta’ drops you at the top of a dusty hill, and leaves you to negotiate the path down to the lake. Although somewhat treacherous, you will be soon be met with stunning views that are worth every extra breath.