Many Travelers Don't Even Know About The Lake Best Known As Italy's Most Beautiful

A summer vacation in Italy sounds wonderful, doesn't it? Warm sun on your face, visiting a historic country ... sweating buckets as you wait in line during the tourist season to see the Colosseum or your wet shirt sticking to your back as you attempt to climb the Duomo steps in Florence. Summer can get very hot in parts of Italy, but that's not true if you visit the Italian Alps. You're up in the mountains, surrounded by lovely scenery. You can take a road trip through the Alps as you cross from country to country, or better yet, visit a place that has been named more than once as the most beautiful lake in Italy by Legambiente and the Italian Touring Club. The air is cool, the water is clear, and the Brenta Dolomite mountains provide the perfect background. Welcome to Lake Molveno, Italy. 

While Lake Molveno is a bit off the beaten path for some tourists, it has everything you need for a perfect vacation. There are tons of amenities right on the lake, watersports galore, and even a 13th-century church to explore in the summer. Let's take a look at what to do in Lake Molveno and what you need to know before you go. (We'll even give you some winter ideas for this incredible place.)

What to know about Lake Molveno

The Dolomites in the Italian Alps are wonderful to visit any time of year, though spring and summer are ideal. The weather doesn't get above the mid-60s Fahrenheit at the height of summer, so you won't have to take five showers a day to feel good. If you're a winter fan, the highs can be anywhere between the upper 20s and 40s, making it perfect for skiing. If that's your jam, you can ski and snowboard at the Pradel Ski Area, which you can get to from the La Panoramica cable car which takes you up to the resort from the lake. You can also take a bus from the center of Molveno to the Paganella Ski Area

However, if you're a sun bunny, it's the lake that is going to be the big draw. Lake Molveno has clear water that reflects the surroundings, similar to the nearby mesmerizing rainbow lake, Lago di Carezza. Lake Molveno can appear blue, green, or simply as a mirror for the entire mountain range. The Brenta Dolomites are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Lake Molveno is known for its clean water and environmental protection practices. 

The pristine beaches at the lake have plenty of amenities. You can rent canoes and surfboards right near the shore. Plus, there is a playground for kids, green spots to lounge in, windsurfing, mini-golf, and tennis courts. There is even a nearby public swimming pool and water park. That's a good thing because the lake water can be pretty chilly. The lake itself has an average depth of around 80 feet and is just under 3 miles long. You can also camp all year round. 

Other things to do at Lake Molveno

You can take advantage of the cool summer weather to hike around the lake. It's fairly flat and takes you around 6.4 miles, where you'll pass the 13th-century arch bridge, the Ponte Romano. You can also take the cable car to get some stunning lake views and access to even more hiking.

You absolutely must pay a visit to the Baita ai Fortini di Napoleone, a restaurant that you walk to from the lake that features local foods like pork or lamb ribs, stewed venison, carne salada carpaccio, and polenta gnocchi. It's only open from May through October and during Christmas. 

In town, you'll find the Romanesque Church of St. Vigilio, which is from the 13th century and named after a 1st-century CE Bishop named Vigilio. It's got stunning frescos on the façade and a Gothic expansion from the 16th century. It's open for visitors from mid-June through mid-September, with appointment-only tours at other times of the year.