The lake was immersed in silence as if it had swallowed all the noise. The surface looked like a mirror, rippling with every wind blow. Only the tall, now low, bird song could be heard. (Banana Yoshimoto)
Lake Turano is an artificial lake, built in the '40s on the Turano river to produce hydroelectric energy. It is located about 80 kilometers away from Rome. This lake is characterized by the charming villages and castles lying on its perimeter, as well as nature reserves, such as the Natural Reserve of Monte Navegna and Monte Cervia.
Lake Turano is located at 536 meters above sea level and has a perimeter of almost 40 kilometers. The peculiarity of this lake is that it creates a wonderful chromatic effect with the lake's turquoise waters, the vegetation's intense green, and the blue sky.
This village overlooks the lake offering an excellent view. All the way down towards the lake, there is a beautiful beach. The town is one of the oldest ones in the Turano Valley. At the foot of the fortress stands the Church of the Annunciation, which remained abandoned for several decades and got restored a few years ago. After the restoration work, it was discovered that the entire right wall is covered with frescoes dating back to 1590.
Castel di Tora was found for the first time in some documents dating back to the year 1000, and is included among the "most beautiful villages in Italy." The village of Castel di Tora stretches along the shores of Lake Turano, at the foot of Mount Navegna. From the top, on clear days, you can see the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The fortress tower dates back to the 11th century and was built on sheer rock. Palazzo del Drago and the entire village of Antuni are located in the small peninsula that juts out into the lake and date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Here is also the hermitage of San Salvatore.
Colle di Tora is a village of white houses and rises on the part of land entering the lake. Scholars say that this town stands on the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Thora, already mentioned in antiquity by Dionigi d’Alicarnasso. Colle di Tora was known by the name of Collepiccolo and depended on the powerful Abbey of Farfa. Around 1700, the new church of the village was inaugurated and dedicated to San Lorenzo. With the damming of the Turano river, the whole valley was submerged, and many inhabitants of Colle di Tora were forced to emigrate and leave their land that offered no food to survive.
In Colle di Tora we can visit the church of Santa Anatolia, which houses numerous works by famous local artists. We can then enjoy the countless natural beauties that the landscape offers to the visitors.
The village of Stipes is perched at about 900 meters above sea level. From the fortress of Stipes, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the whole Sabina and Rocca Sinibalda. Stipes is one of the towns located on the "Truffle and Chestnut road" in the Valle del Turano and is an ideal destination for lovers of freshwater fishing. From the city starts a road that runs through the Gole dell' Obito, a fighting theater between the Saracens and the Moors, and a mule track that leads to the ruins of Mirandella, a medieval fortress.
Although not directly overlooking Lake Turano, Rocca Sinibalda is very close to it and is located in the corridor that goes from the plain of Rieti towards Carsoli, passing through Lake Turano. Without a doubt, the majestic castle that rises above the skyline of Rocca Sinibalda is the main tourist attraction and is classified as a national monument. It is a medieval fortress, which takes its name from the noble Sforza Cesarini family. The castle has been completely renovated and can be visited. The interior of the castle was frescoed in the '500s with illustrations taken from the work "The Metamorphoses" by Ovid. The external walkway offers the opportunity to walk the perimeter of the castle, enjoying the beautiful panorama over the Turano valley.
So, the choice is yours! Visit these places all at once, or perhaps dedicate a whole day to Lake Turano and its charming villages. They're all fascinating from a panoramic, naturalistic, historical, and architectural point of view. Last but not least, in these places, the food is excellent; from truffles and mushroom dishes to lake fish. During the summer, you can take advantage of taking a bath in the emerald-colored lake. Enjoy your visit!
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