Why visit Bracciano

Bracciano stretches on the west shore of Lago di Bracciano, some 30 kilometers north of Rome, neighboring on the town of Cerveteri. Bracciano does not necessarily overwhelm visitors by its wealth of attractions. It is, on the contrary, appealing by the overall scenic landscape: overlooking the namesake lake (which is a volcanic lake, the 8th largest in Italy), the town has kept its medieval atmosphere, being crisscrossed by narrow alleys and allowing superb views of its lushly green countryside and of the breathtaking lake from its highest slopes.

The lake, in fact, is one of the main attractions of Bracciano. It enables tourists to delight in a range of activities, such as sailing, swimming, canoeing and even windsurfing (when the weather conditions allow it), not to mention the lake boat tours. The local cuisine is highly influenced by the catch from the lake (exploring the local restaurants is, thus, a rewarding pursuit), such that it’s no overstatement to say Lago di Bracciano is the one which keeps the town breathing from a tourist point of view.

But the true tourist gem of Bracciano is the so-called Castello Odescalchi (otherwise called Castello Orsini-Odescalchi), a robust fortress which also served as residence for the members of the Orsini and of the Borgia families, and an impeccable example of how the Renaissance style was applied in the military architecture (its history goes back to around the 11th century AD). Being one of the best preserved castles in Italy, it is also home to a museum of history where visitors can admire a miscellaneous collection of exhibits: fine artworks (chiefly, paintings), furniture, frescoes, weapons, decorations, manuscripts and old books.

While in Bracciano, tourists can also visit the Church of San Liberato, most of it built in the 15th century, but containing elements previous to the 1400s. For instance, the bell tower of this place of worship was erected in the 11th century, a fact which makes the campanile unique in the Lazio region of Italy. For more extensive trips, tourists can further head for the neighboring Trevignano Romano (a hub of sailing schools and home to a museum of archeology). In Trevignano Romano the main attraction refers to a medieval castle, formerly notable for the robustness of its structure, but now in poor condition: sundry historical episodes and several earthquakes have damaged the 13th century castle, such that now it is more of a ruin. Anguillara is also well worth a visit. Here, tourists can sunbathe on the lake beach, or they can search out the nearby Regional Park of Lake Martignano (3 kilometers east of Anguillara). Another excellent idea is to discover the old center of the town, outstanding for its medieval atmosphere.

How to get from Rome to Bracciano

In order to get from Rome to Bracciano, tourists can opt for a train trip. Train trips take between an hour and 90 minutes, but for a detailed schedule of the daily trains, ticket prices and precise duration of the trip, please visit Trenitalia.

A further option refers to the bus trips. In this respect, tourists can take the buses operated by COTRAL (visit COTRAL in order to see the bus schedule). ATAC also maintains a line which makes the connection between the capital and Viterbo, with intermediary stations in the towns on the shores of Lago di Bracciano. Please visit ATAC in order to see the bus schedule and the stations on the route.