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The world is full of serene places, but few possess the beauty and charm of Lake Carezza. Serenely nestled at the foot of the Latemar Massif in the Italian Dolomites, this natural wonder offers a true immersion in the spectacle of nature.
Well known and popular, Lake Carezza (Karersee in German) is known for its incredible beauty. The lake, whose waters are an enchanting emerald green color, lies about 1,500 meters above sea level and is famous for its absolute clarity. Looking at the lake, it almost feels like you can touch the stones on the bottom!
Lake Carezza has a fascinating history, which is enhanced by a famous local legend. The ancient tale tells of a beautiful nymph who lived in the lake and was the object of desire of the magician Masaré.
Visit Lake Carezza for a day and you will find yourself immersed in quiet and magnificent natural beauty. This fascinating lake holds many surprises, from an ancient legend to spectacular opportunities for nature lovers.
No matter where you come from, Lake Carezza offers a peace and tranquility that makes it a must-see destination for anyone visiting the Dolomites.
Remember, however, that the beauty of this place is fragile and deserves our respect and care.
Lake Carezza: origins, characteristics and dimensions
This small alpine body of water, also known as “Rainbow Lake,” is a wonderful surprise for those visiting the upper Ega Valley.
Origin of the Lake
Lake Carezza was created by the work of nature itself through a glacial process. The basin that now houses the lake was formed by the movements of glaciers. Later, this depression filled with water, creating the beautiful lake we see today. An interesting fact is that the lake has no visible tributaries, being fed by underground springs.
The Dimensions of the Lake
Although it is a relatively small alpine lake, Lake Carezza is no less impressive. Its size, however, contributes to its charm, making the landscape even more intimate and evocative. At its peak it measures 290 meters x 140 meters.
When to visit Lake Carezza
Lake Carezza is a place that is great to visit all year round. However, there are certain times of the year that enhance its natural beauty.
As the ice melts and nature awakens, spring offers the first glimpse of the lake’s beauty. During this time, the lake fills with water, temperatures are mild, and tourist crowds are still limited. For those who like peace and quiet, this period is ideal for admiring the sparkle of the water and the beauty of the alpine flowers blooming in the surrounding meadows.
Summer is probably the most popular season to visit the lake. The landscape becomes a vibrant color palette with the lake waters perfectly reflecting the blue sky and surrounding mountains. During the summer, you can enjoy long, sunny days, ideal for mountain trips or a quiet picnic on the shores.
Autumn offers a completely different view of the lake. The surrounding evergreen fir trees are accentuated by the changing fall colors, creating a color show that contrasts beautifully with the emerald green and blue waters of the lake. There is nothing more romantic than an autumn walk around the lake!
Nothing compares to the charm of Lake Carezza under a blanket of snow. The frozen lake, snow-capped mountain peaks, and dark silhouettes of trees create a fairy-tale landscape. And for winter lovers, there are many ski resorts nearby where you can enjoy a day on the slopes.
Regardless of the time of year, Lake Carezza is always a wonderful place to visit. Of course, each season offers a unique experience, but the beauty of the lake is constant year-round.
So, choose the period that appeals to you most and get ready to discover the magic of Lake Carezza!
Lake Carezza: origin of the name
The name “Lake Carezza” has fascinating origins. According to information provided by the Italian Touring Club, the name of the lake comes from “Caricaceae,” a family of plants with broad lobed leaves. “Carezza” would be the Italian adaptation of the local dialect term for these plants.
Lake Carezza is also known as “Rainbow Lake” due to its fascinating color qualities. In the Ladino language, it is called “Lec de Ergobando” or “arcoboàn,” meaning precisely “rainbow lake.”
The water in the lake takes on different shades of color, including emerald green and deep blue, depending on the reflections of the sun and weather conditions. This unique feature makes the lake a place of great charm and beauty, thus justifying its evocative nickname.
Lake Carezza: where it is and how to get there
Lake Carezza is located in Trentino Alto Adige, in Val d’Ega, just 25 km from Bolzano. Located at an elevation of 1534 meters in the territory of the municipality of Nova Levante, the lake nestles between the peaks of Latemar and Catinaccio, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
How to get to Lake Carezza
If you are coming from Trento or the A22 Brenner freeway, the exit to take is Val d’Ega/Eggental at Bolzano Nord. You will have to turn right along SS 12 and at the traffic circle, take the third exit for Val d’Ega/Eggental along SS241. Follow SS241 to the lake, which you will see on the right, while the parking lot will be on the left.
If you are coming from Bolzano, you will need to follow the signs for Cardano along SP22, arriving at the highway traffic circle, take the Val d’Ega/Eggental Nova Levante exit along SS241 to the lake.
If you are arriving from Moena, Canazei or another town in the Fassa Valley, you will have to reach Vigo di Fassa where you take the SS241 road. The route first ascends to reach the Costalunga Pass then descends to reach the lake.
By train and bus
To reach Lake Carezza by train, you will have to get off at the Bolzano train station and continue by bus. From various locations in the valleys, it is possible to reach the lake by bus.
Parking at Lake Carezza
Opposite the lake, on the opposite side of the road, is a paid parking lot. The cost for cars and motorcycles is 2 euros the first hour, 4 euros for 2 hours, 6 euros up to 6 hours, 12 euros up to 12 hours, and 24 euros for a full day. For campers and buses, the cost is 9 euros up to 3 hours, 18 euros up to 12 hours and 30 euros for a day.
A few minutes walk away is another free parking lot, for cars but not for RVs, from which you can reach the lake via trail no. 6 and the suspension bridge.
Even farther away, about 2 km away, is another parking lot, free for cars, but with a fee of 10 euros for RVs from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
During the days when the Christmas market is open, a free shuttle with rides every 10 minutes from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. connects Parking Lot 3 with the lake.
Getting to Lake Carezza on foot
It is also possible to reach the lake by walking from the center of Nova Levante via Trail 10A, a total distance of about 9 km (round trip). Alternatively, you can park your car in Obereggen, at the chairlift plaza, and proceed along a 15-km trail (round trip) following trail No. 8, or again at the Stadl Alm, from which you can walk to the lake.
The Legend of the Nymph Ondina
Lake Carezza tells a story of love and magic as old as the majestic surrounding mountains. In addition to the enchanting view and magical shades of color, “Rainbow Lake” is famous for a romantic legend involving the world of fairies and nymphs.
The Seductive Song of Ondina
The story begins with the beautiful golden-haired nymph, Ondina, who loved to dwell in the crystal clear waters of Lake Carezza. Her suave voice sang sweet melodies that drifted over the lake, shaping the evening air with melodious notes. It was a song so bewitching that it attracted the attention of the wizard of Latemar, an imposing mountain that stood nearby.
An Unrequited Love
The magician, struck by Ondina’s wonderful beauty and melodious voice, fell hopelessly in love with the nymph. However, he could not communicate his feelings to her since Ondina took refuge in the lake whenever he appeared. Therefore, he decided to ask the witch of Latemar for help.
A Failed Rainbow
Following the witch’s advice, the magician created a magnificent rainbow connecting Latemar to Lake Carezza, hoping to bewitch Ondina. He covered the rainbow with precious jewels and waited in hiding. Unfortunately, he forgot to dress as a fisherman, as the witch had suggested.
When Ondina emerged and saw the rainbow, she was speechless. But when the magician came forward to declare his love, the frightened nymph plunged into the lake never to reappear.
The Wizard’s Fury
Desperate, the magician destroyed the rainbow, sending its fragments flying into the lake. Furious and disappointed, the magician retreated forever to Latemar.
Since then, the water of Lake Carezza has reflected a thousand colors, just like a rainbow, in memory of the sad love story between the nymph Ondina and the wizard of Latemar. And every time the sun’s rays reflect on the waters, you can almost hear the sweet song of Ondina echoing among the peaks.
What to do in and around Lake Carezza
Here are some exciting and interesting activities you can do at and around Lake Carezza.
Admiring the beauty of Lake Carezza
First of all, it is impossible to visit Lake Carezza without stopping to admire its beauty. This emerald green lake is set like a gem in the Dolomites, at the foot of the Latemar Massif. The view of crystal clear water surrounded by jagged mountain ridges and green pastures is truly incredible. Take advantage of this experience to take some spectacular photos!
Walking or hiking
Lake Carezza and the surrounding area offer many opportunities for hiking. There are trails of varying difficulty, ideal for both experienced hikers and beginners. Two of the most popular options are the trail around the lake, which offers an easy, relaxing walk of about 30 minutes, and the trail to the summit of the Latemar Massif, a more strenuous hike but one that offers breathtaking views.
If you love cycling, Val d’Ega offers numerous bike paths ranging from easy to challenging. One of the most popular is the one leading to the Ganischger Alm hut; catching a glimpse of the sunrise or sunset from here is simply magical.
Playing Golf in the Heart of the Dolomites
If you are a golf enthusiast, the Carezza Golf Club, just a few kilometers from the lake, is a 9-hole course set among beautiful larch and beech forests. It is not only a challenge for golfers of all abilities, but also offers breathtaking views of the Dolomites.
Skiing in winter
In winter, the area surrounding Lake Carezza is transformed into a white paradise. You can enjoy a variety of winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The nearby ski resorts of Carezza and Obereggen offer well-prepared slopes and modern infrastructure.
Discovering local culture and tradition
Finally, you can take advantage of your stay at Lake Carezza to discover local culture and traditions. Visit the nearby town of Nova Levante where you can enjoy delicious South Tyrolean culinary specialties and discover local handicrafts.
Remember, Lake Carezza has a lot to offer in any season of the year-from deep breathing nature to intense adventures and the discovery of delicious local cuisine.
It really is a trip worth taking!
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Lake Carezza, along with their answers.
1. At what time of year is it best to visit Lake Carezza?
The lake can be visited all year round. Each season offers a different and unique view of the lake. Summer is the best time for hiking, while winter offers the spectacle of an almost completely frozen lake.
2. Is it possible to swim in Lake Carezza?
No, swimming in the lake is not allowed. This is to protect the lake’s unique ecosystem and maintain the incredible purity and clarity of its waters.
3. Is it possible to have picnics on the lakeshore?
No, picnicking directly on the lakeshore is not allowed. However, there are picnic areas nearby.
4. Is it possible to fish at Lake Carezza?
No, fishing is not allowed at Lake Carezza to protect the fish species that live there.
5. Are there toilet facilities near the lake?
Yes, there are toilets in the nearby parking area.
6. Is it possible to bring pets to Lake Carezza?
Yes, pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash.
7. Are there any wheelchair accessible or buggy routes?
Yes, the trail around the lake is easily walkable and accessible even for visitors with disabilities and buggy riders.
8. How long does it take to go around the lake?
The walk around the lake takes about 20-30 minutes at a leisurely pace.
9. Are attractions or activities available for children?
Yes, there are many activities for children in the area, including child-friendly hiking trails, playgrounds, and nature discovery. In addition, Lake Carezza is surrounded by many legends, including that of a nymph who is said to have inhabited the lake, stories that can stimulate children’s interest and imagination.
10. Can photos and videos be taken?
Yes, photos and videos are allowed, but it is important to meet the code of behavior and respect for the natural environment.
ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE DOLOMITES