In the province of Viterbo, less than 70 km from Rome, there is a beautiful nature Reserve of Lake Vico. What to see and what to do at Lake Vico in Tuscia Viterbese?
With its 4,109 hectares of parkland, the Lake Vico Regional Nature Reserve is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating protected areas in Lazio and Central Italy. The ideal destination for those who love to spend a day in contact with relaxing woods full of paths, also suitable for non-expert walkers, and to discover villages that represent artistic but also food and wine excellence.
Lake Vico is hidden among the Cimini Mountains and offers the opportunity for everyone, including families, to spend a day in contact with unspoiled nature and relax. Science proclaims the volcanic origin of the lake, but an ancient legend has it that it was Hercules himself who created the lake. Hercules, it is said, challenged the local inhabitants to a test of strength by thrusting his club into the ground. Once extracted, the jolt caused the formation of Lake Vico.
The current name of “Lago di Vico” derives from a wealthy family residing in these places, the Vico family. In particular, it seems that the name derives from the Castrum Vici, the castle of the Prefects of Vico, of which some traces remain today in the dense vegetation along the southern shores of the lake.
Nature, culture and history make this corner of Italy a real jewel. There are so many things to do at Lake Vico.
For trekking lovers you can find nature trails of varying difficulty, some are simple and also suitable for families, such as the Fondo delle Tavole, which winds along the beech forest of Monte Venere.
According to some, the beech wood of Monte Venere is one of the most evocative and panoramic itineraries that Lake Vico evokes the settings of Tolkien’s sagas. The starting point, with the parking lot and outdoor tables for the picnic area, is surrounded by hazelnut groves and is approximately 570 meters above sea level. From here you can choose from a wide range of well-marked trails with routes ranging from thirty minutes to two hours. Other interesting routes are that of the Pantanaccia, surrounded by vegetation, and that of the Strada di Mezzo, which instead presents a higher difficulty.
Adrenaline activity, suitable for experts and daredevils is the descent into the Pozzo del Diavolo, lowered by means of a rope anchored to the ground. This is a site of unique charm: it is the largest natural cavity in Lazio and the only cave of volcanic genesis in the Region. From the site you can admire one of the most fascinating panoramas of the whole area.
Walking or trekking inside the Vico Lake Nature Reserve is an idea that satisfies everyone, in summer a valid alternative could be a day of bathing on the black sand shores of the lake.
Discovering the historic villages around Lake of Vico
But what to do at Lake Vico in addition to nature trails, birdwatching and sunbathing? It is simple to visit one of the many Etruscan and Roman villages that are located around the slopes of the Cimini Mountains. Not to be missed are Sutri known for its cathedral, its amphitheater and tombs, the village of Ronciglione where you can visit the unicorn fountain and the cathedral, dating back to the 18th century. In Ronciglione, an unmissable event is the Carnival where the whole community actively participates. Another village worthy of mention is Caprarola where you can visit the famous Palazzo Farnese.
What to do at Lake Vico with children
If you believe that there are no activities suitable for children, you are wrong. Lake Vico is a place full of charm, ideal for everyone, even families. The whole wooded area around the lake offers exciting ideas for Harry Potter or fantasy themed walks and open air or indoor activities! For children who don’t like walking for a long time or for rainy days, the huge Vicolandia playground is ideal. A playroom that extends for the beauty of 1,200 square meters, ideal for playing and spending a different afternoon. For lovers of adrenaline-pumping activities, we suggest the Tusciavventure adventure park. There are many itineraries proposed and suitable for various age groups. You can also rent a bbq and have a picnic surrounded by nature.
In summer let’s not forget the bathing establishments located on the shores of the lake which are an excellent option for entertaining the little ones.