"Bracciano - Town & Lake - Great Day Trip from Rome" Bracciano by icunme

Bracciano Travel Guide: 12 reviews and 40 photos

3 Towns form perfect triangle around the Lake

See: Lake Bracciano

Lago di Bracciano is encircled by low mountains and with three the little towns of Bracciano, Trevignano and Anguillara we see the design of a perfect triangle.
Fresh water is supplied to the Vatican through a sluice constructed by the end of the 1700's, which is still working perfectly after numerous restorations to maintain water at a constant level. It feeds the Acquedotto Paulo, constructed at the time of Pope Paul V in the beginning of the 1600's.
Bracciano rises on a hill inhabited since Etruscan ages and has been of great importance since the Renaissance period when it was a fief of the Orsini; in 1696 the town passed to the Odescalchi family.

I was lucky to be touring here with my friend, Jean from VT. We spent an entire day exploring - especially gelato shops! Our ferry ride on the lake was surely a highlight.

Water sports can be observed and enjoyed all along the lake - swim, fish, sail, windsurf, kayak. Rent bicycles (Attn: Nemorino!) - treck (are you listening, Trekki?) - horseback ride - ride the lake on the ferry (my favorite) - walk through the lovely towns.
The water is clean and joyfully refreshing.

Check tips for more details and photos.

Odescalchi Castle drama of love, murder, weddings

The magnificent Odescalchi Castle, built by Paolo Giordano Orsini from 1470-1485 dominates the settlement - both in size and historical significance.
Due to its structural and architectonic characteristics and the excellent state of conservation it is considered one of the most important castles of Italy.
Gregorovius wrote this account and briefly described the life of Paolo Giordano Orsini, who in 1571 bravely fought at Lepanto. Paolo Giordano married Isabella de' Medici, daughter of the Grand Duke Cosimo I. In 1576, having heard rumours about the unfaithfulness of Isabella, Paolo Giordano did not hesitate to strangle her with his own hands: this was called in Italian "delitto d'onore" and it was excused by the law as a legitimate fit of temper. In 1583 Paolo Giordano fell in love with Vittoria Accoramboni, the wife of Francesco Mignucci, nephew of Cardinal Felice Peretti. One night Francesco Mignucci received a request for help from one of his brothers-in-law and accompanied by a servant he left home: he was caught in an ambush near Monte Cavallo and killed. A few days after the funeral, Vittoria Accoramboni and her mother left Rome and went to live with Paolo Giordano Orsini in Bracciano. All evidence, including the confession of one of the hired assassins, indicated Paolo Giordano to be the commissioner of the killing, but the weak Pope Gregorius XIII (1572-85) did not dare to prosecute an Orsini. He did however forbid him to marry Vittoria. At the death of the pope Paolo Giordano Orsini thought he could marry Vittoria: the wedding took place the same day the cardinals elected the new pope: their choice fell on Cardinal Felice Peretti who became Pope Sixtus V.
Among its most famous guest have been the king of France Charles VIII, Pope Sixtus IV, Marcantonio Colonna and in more recent times John Kennedy Jr, Tina Turner - weddings there include Italian singer Eros Ramozatti and Tom Cruise.

Italy's Military Air Museum in Bracciano

BarryAir is fond of Bracciano and, as an Air Force enthusiast, he has contributed photos and detail to this page. Grazie, Barry for your very kind post here.

More detail on Tips

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Italy at its best
  • Cons:Check timetables carefully
  • In a nutshell:Will make many day trips from Rome - often as possible.
  • Last visit to Bracciano: Aug 2009
  • Intro Updated Sep 22, 2009
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Reviews (5)

Comments (5)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Nov 11, 2009 at 4:59 AM

    Great-looking town and lake and especially the historic castle! I was glad to read about the bicycle rental service, too.

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Oct 11, 2009 at 9:06 AM

    What a lovely castle, and such interesting descriptions :-)

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Sep 23, 2009 at 6:14 AM

    Good tip on an interesting day trip from Rome. So many wonderful things to discover in Italy.

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Sep 22, 2009 at 8:32 AM

    Lovely Bracciano travel page with excellent images and great travel tips. Castle Odescalchi certainly sounds wonderful and interesting to visit and explore. Thanks for the virtual tour. ~ho & pang

  • BarryAir's Profile Photo
    Sep 20, 2009 at 6:28 AM

    Carol. We rented a car, and I drove there. I wish I knew about the train. I wonder if there are taxxis around the lake? Barry in Lafayette

icunme

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