lake bracciano with pier and lawn degrading towards the water
Italy destination guides

Lake Bracciano: how to visit one of the prettiest lakes near Rome

All you need to know to plan a visit to Lake Bracciano: what to see on Lake Bracciano, how to get there, tips for enjoying one of the most beautiful lakes near Rome.

Lake Bracciano is a beautiful volcanic lake near Rome.

Less than an hour drive from the city, it is a popular day trip from Rome: locals head here to get relief from the heat on the beach and under the shaded patios of the many lakeside restaurants in the area.

Watersports enthusiasts also love Lake Bracciano thanks to the several opportunities for watersports the lake has to offer.

If you are looking for a place to escape Rome summer, Lake Bracciano is perfect.

You can use this travel guide to Lake Bracciano to plan your day.

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View of Lake Bracciano in between trees in Trevignano Romano, Italy

Where is Lake Bracciano and how to get there

Lake Bracciano is a volcanic lake to the northwest of Rome.

Located between the city of Rome and Viterbo, you can easily reach it driving up Via Cassia Bis (SS2bis) or by catching the train to Angullara Sabazia or Bracciano, the two towns on the lake served by a train station.

The road has two lanes and has regular, clear signs indicating how to get to Bracciano from Rome.

The main places of interest on Lake Bracciano are Bracciano village, Anguillara Sabazia and Trevignano Romano, all well indicated as soon as you get closer to the lake.

The exact distance from Rome depends where on the lake you decide to stop. In general the distance is about 1h by car, traffic permitting.

At a glance, the distance between Rome and Lake Bracciano is:

JourneyTime*Mean of transport
Rome – Bracciano50 minCar / Train
Rome – Anguillara Sabazia40 minCar / Train
Rome – Trevignano 50 minCar
*Estimate from Rome city center location, in normal traffic conditions

if you are not used to driving here, I recommend you check out our tips for driving in Italy here.

Things to do on Lake Bracciano

The best things to do on lake Bracciano are:

  • swimming, boating, SUPping
  • exploring the pretty villages on its shores
  • enjoying lunch on the lake
  • visiting the Air Force Museum

Top tip: if you have your own car, it is worth also visiting two places that are near Lake Bracciano albeit not on its waters.Lake Martignano, a delightful lake just beside Bracciano with a pretty restaurants and Agriturismo called Casale di Martignano and the beautiful ruins of Canale Monterano.

Swimming and boating in Lake Bracciano: the best beaches on Lake Bracciano

Swimming in a popular activity in Lake Bracciano.

Access to the water is possible from many localities and in many spots you also have the option of renting beach loungers, umbrellas and boats such as pedal boats/ SUP equipment.

The water in Lake Bracciano is usually clean: if you have kids, it can be a good idea to have kids watershoes for them, especially if they are not used to the squishy bed of a volcanic lake!

The best beaches on Lake Bracciano are:

Spiaggia Vigna di Valle in Anguillara, a lovely family-friendly beach with the option of renting a sun umbrella and lounger, pedal boats and the presence of kids inflatables (kids waterpark). One of the tops things to do at Lake Bracciano with kids!

Lido dei Gabbiani is Lake Bracciano’s dog friendly beach, perfect for your furry friends

Lungolago Argenti in Bracciano, a long stretch of beach, part sand and part pebbles, one of the most popular in the area with sunbathers, swimmers and windsurfers. This is a lovely beach but the waters tend to get deep fast, so you may want to be careful if you have kids or nonswimmers.

Trevignano beaches are often part of private establishments such as the pretty Club Albatros (see also below) and International Glamping Trevignano.

Lake Bracciano beach with kids sand toys on the lake shore

Visit Bracciano town

Bracciano is the biggest town on the lake and one of the most interesting places to visit in the area.

The town is ancient in origin and still maintains a fantastic castle, Castello Corsini-Odescalchi, which dominates the village.

The castle is impressive and very romantic (it is also a very popular location for weddings and celebrations): the castle as we see it now dates from the XV century and it is worth visiting for its architecture and location. You can visit the interior by booking tickets to the Odescalchi castle here.

As well as the castle, Bracciano village is all worth seeing: the town has characteristics small alleys full of charm and a delightful viewpoint, Belvedere della Sentinella, offering fantastic views over the lake.

Top Tip if visiting Bracciano with kids: Castello Odescalchi is family-friendly! As well as standard tours, it is possible to book castle tours that are just for kids: they are packed with riddles to solve, areas to discover and games to play: find info and prices here.

Enjoy the views from Anguillara Sabazia

Anguillara Sabazia is a tiny and beautiful village on Lake Bracciano with immense charm, lovely views of the lake and a pretty beach.

View of Lake Bracciano from the village of Anguillara Sabazia

It is a place without big landmarks but it is worth a stop for its atmosphere, ancient alleys and pretty lake views.

I got married here (despite being from Rome) and as you can imagine, I would have not dragged all my friends and family away from the city had I not believe it was worth it! If you are in the area, I hope you stop here, get coffee on the lake and enjoy the view as much as I do!

Take a stroll around Trevignano Romano

Trevignano Romano is a very pretty village on the northern shore of Lake Bracciano.

The town has an ancient center which you access via an old gate and has delightful small streets with steps, flowers on windowsills and several outdoor places for a drink or a meal.

I recommend you come for a walk around the town to work up an appetite or head here for aperitivo in front of the sun setting on the lake.

Ancient gate into Trevignano Romano village with outdoor cafe in front

Visit the historical Air Force Museum

The historical Air Force Museum on Lake Bracciano is one of the biggest museums in Italy devoted to flying. It is organized in 4 areas with over 80 flying machines and has a large selection of memorabilia about the history of military aviation in Italy, from Pioneers to the First and Second World War and the development to contemporary flying.

A must see for lovers of planes and a cool place to visit with kids too. You can find the official site here.

Have lunch on the lake

Lake Bracciano is the typical place Romans go to when they want lunch outdoors on a lazy summer day and indeed, there are many places offering lovely patios and good food!

Where to eat on Lake Bracciano

Places you may enjoy are:

Aquarella in Trevignano Romano – lovely restaurant on lake Bracciano shore, with nice outdoor spaces and access to the water, suitable also for kids

Club Velico Albatros in Trevignano – a local sailing club with a pretty beach (small but with loungers and umbrella), with an indoor/ outdoor restaurant popular with locals

Le Papere in Bracciano, lovely restaurant with a good menu and fantastic location on pier stretching into the lake.

Where to stay on Lake Bracciano

Lake Bracciano has some nice campsites and hotels that are perfect for a few days outside of Rome. Places you may want to check out in the area are:

Acquarella Resort,Trevignano – lovely resort on the lakeshore with self-catering accommodation, private beach, outdoor area and beach. perfect family-friendly accommodation on Lake Bracciano also for bigger families (apartments take up to 6 people)

International Glamping Lago di Bracciano, Trevignano – nice campsite with private beach, restaurant and pool in a lovely part of the lake, between Trevignano and Anguillara Sabazia

Hotel Massimino Anguillara Sabazia – well priced, nice hotel close to Anguillara Sabazia train station and the lake, with a good restaurant on site. Perfect especially if you want to enjoy Lake Bracciano without a car.

I hope you enjoyed this quick overview of the best things to do on Lake Bracciano Italy and it helped you plan your day there. Safe travel planning!

Planning a trip to Italy? Don’t forget to also check out our 100+ Italy travel tips and our guide to planning a first trip to Italy!

Looking for more beautiful lakes to enjoy in Italy? Some of the most beautiful are in the north of the country: find our guide to northern Italian lakes here.

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Marta Correale is an Italian mama of two. Born and raised in Rome, Marta has a passion for travel and especially enjoys showing off Italy to her kids, who are growing up to love it as much as she does! A classics graduate, teacher of Italian as a second language and family travel blogger, Marta launched Mama Loves Italy as a way to inspire, support and help curious visitors to make the most of a trip to Italy and learn about Italian culture on the way.