Lake Bolsena, Lazio, Italy

Also known as:  Lago di Bolsena

Held in the volcanic crater like a jewel in its setting, 28,032-acre Lake Bolsena sparkles in central Italy. Over hundreds of thousands of years the crater’s walls have softened gradually, eroding to flat beaches and gently rolling hills holding medieval fishing villages. The rich volcanic soil supports hillsides patch-worked with vineyards, olive groves and wheat fields. Clean, clear water filled with fish set against the beautiful pastoral backdrop of the – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Bolsena! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Bolsena cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Bolsena! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Bolsena cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Lake Bolsena

Lake Locations: Italy - Lazio -

Held in the volcanic crater like a jewel in its setting, 28,032-acre Lake Bolsena sparkles in central Italy. Over hundreds of thousands of years the crater’s walls have softened gradually, eroding to flat beaches and gently rolling hills holding medieval fishing villages. The rich volcanic soil supports hillsides patch-worked with vineyards, olive groves and wheat fields. Clean, clear water filled with fish set against the beautiful pastoral backdrop of the Alto Lazio region of Italy combine with a history as old as time itself to form the perfect tourist destination. Fortunately for visitors, however, one of the only things that Lake Bolsena doesn’t have is a lot of tourists. Still relatively undiscovered, the lake shines like a gem just waiting to be enjoyed.

Lake Bolsena, or Lago di Bolsena in Italian, is a volcanic crater lake that formed approximately 370,000 years ago when the volcano’s caldera collapsed into a deep aquifer. Part of the Vulsini Volcanic Complex, the volcano, according to Roman records, was last active in 104 BC. The Romans called the lake “Lacus Volsinii,” and it is the largest volcanic lake in Italy. The two islands, Bisentina and Martana, in the southern half of the lake were formed by underwater eruptions.

Like most crater lakes, Lago di Bolsena is an elliptical-shaped lake stretching 8.1 miles long and 6.8 miles wide with a maximum depth of 500 feet. The lake is in the northern part of the Province of Virterbo, not too far from Tuscany. It receives most of its water from the aquifer and also from rainfall and runoff. The only outflow from Lake Bolsena is the Marta River at the southern end of the lake, east of the Village of Marta. The Marta River flows on into the Tirreno Sea.

Settlers around the lake have been regulating water levels since before the time of the Etruscans, and today, a sluice gate helps regulate levels. Lake Bolsena fills very slowly and has an extremely long water residence time. It takes almost 121 years for the lake’s water to completely turn over, so great care must be taken to ensure contaminants don’t pollute the lake. The villages around the lake have worked to minimize runoff from agriculture and to make sure no effluent makes its way into the lake. As a result, Lake Bolsena is a clean, clear lake with good water quality.

Many of the villages around Lake Bolsena, particularly the port village of Marta, are fishing villages. There are pike, perch, eel, royal bass, largemouth bass, pumpkinseed and catfish in the lake, any of which could be caught in the morning and served on a plate at one of the area’s many restaurants for dinner. Anglers need a permit to fish and can find guides and boats for hire on the shore of the lake. Lake Bolsena is large enough to support fishing boats, motor boats, water skiers, sail boats and even wind surfers. Several services offer lake tours, and there is a ferry to both of the islands.

At 42 acres, Bisenta is the larger of the two islands in Lago di Bolsena. The ferry from Capodimonte takes visitors to the island to explore the evergreen oak groves, monuments, Italian gardens, and churches. The island was settled by the Etruscans, conquered by the Romans, burned and settled again. Its architecture shows layers of the civilizations that came before. Cresent-shaped Martana is 25 acres and was said to have guarded the relics of St. Catherine. The island is privately owned and not available for tours.

Several villages and lakeside communities ring Lake Bolsena, including the agrarian Grotto di Castro or “Castro’s Caves” Village and the Village of Bolsena. Originally an Etruscan village, Bolsena was conquered by the Romans and eventually settled by the Christians, each group flattening the village before they built again. Villages offer volcanic sand beaches for swimming and sunbathing, cafes and restaurants, self-catering holiday villas and vacation rentals, plus hotels and bed and breakfast accommodations. Opportunities for Agritourism exist in the hills surrounding the lake. With a history extending back 2,500 years to the time of the Etruscans, several ruins and museums celebrating the area’s history are scattered around Lago di Bolsena.

A few miles north of Lake Bolsena, the Riserva Naturale di Monte Rufeno is a 7,413-acre reserve near Acquapendente. The reserve has trails for walking, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding and abundant wildlife. Part of the reserve includes the Francigena Way. The ancient route was a pilgrim trail through Bolsena from Siena to Rome.

Each Village around Lago di Bolsena has its own history and flavor. With the museums, restaurants, cafes and Agritourism, visitors to the lake are sure to find something to delight them. Add the clean, clear water, abundant fish and fantastic boating, and Lake Bolsena shines like a a treasure waiting to be discovered.

Things to Do at Lake Bolsena

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Water Skiing
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Museum
  • Ruins

Fish Species Found at Lake Bolsena

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Eel
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Sunfish

All About Lake Bolsena

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Lake Bolsena

The Lake Bolsena map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Lake Bolsena Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Bolsena Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Bolsena Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Lake Bolsena Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake Bolsena lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Surface Area: 28,032 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,000 feet

Average Depth: 270 feet

Maximum Depth: 500 feet

Water Volume: 7,458,561 acre-feet

Water Residence Time: 121 years

Drainage Area: 62 sq. miles

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

More Lake Bolsena news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Lake Bolsena forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Lake Bolsena photos coming soon!
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  • Share this Lake Bolsena article with your fellow LakeLubbers:

Do you have a vacation rental property at Lake Bolsena? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

Please get in touch with our advertising team HERE and we’ll provide you more details on this upcoming advertising opportunity.

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Looking for the Lake Bolsena forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Click here to advertise your Lake Bolsena vacation rental or local business.

The former Lake Bolsena forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Lake Bolsena photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Lake Bolsena article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Lake Bolsena vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

Looking for the old Lake Bolsena forum group? Click Here

New Lake Bolsena photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi