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Wonder
Wonder  }  Lake

Scanno, the heart-shaped lake

Paradise for birdwatchers, swimmers and fishermen

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Where is

Abruzzo

Lago di Scanno, Provincia dell'Aquila, Italia (0m s.l.m.)

Directions
map

What it is and where it is

Originally there was a landslide. The landslide blocked the course of the Tasso River, and this is how Lake Scanno, the largest natural lake in Abruzzo, was formed in the Ice Age. We are in the Sagittario valley, on the edge of the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park. The air is crisp because we are at 922 meters above sea level. Emerald waters are reflected on one side by green forests and on the other by the barren rocky slopes of Mount Genzana. An oasis of peace that restores the spirit.

Why it's special

Take the Sentiero del Cuore (Heart Trail ) and climb up the slope among wildflowers and butterflies; you will wing the lake to your left and the ancient village of Scanno to your right. At the end of the trail (2100 m length and 210 m elevation gain) the view of the lake will arouse your wonder: from up there, in fact, the lake seems to take on the shape of a heart.

Don't miss

This lake is a paradise for birdwatchers, fishermen, swimmers and sportsmen. In its cool waters swim tench, trout, eel and scarole; in the sky above the green sheet of water flutter grebes, herons, moorhens, pochards, black-winged stilts; on the surface float blissfully the boats of fishermen and the canoes, surfs, pedal boats of happy vacationers. When it's quiet, even a few deer might peep onto the banks.

A bit of history

If, in addition to an invigorating dip in the lake, the idea of a dip in the past also appeals to you, head up to the village of Scanno: narrow alleys sometimes made into stairways, small houses leaning on each other, geraniums in the windows and small stores where skilled hands of goldsmiths and bobbin embroiderers hand down ancient crafts.

Trivia

Imagine flying over the lake in a hot air balloon. If you look down, you will find that the lake has two tributaries (the Badger and the Jordan) but no outflow! Oh yes: the terrain is karst and the waters seep into it, surprisingly resurfacing a little further downstream to give birth to a new river, the Sagittarius. From our imaginary hot air balloon, the greenness of the waters is even more striking: it is the effect not only of the surrounding forests that are reflected in it, but also of certain special algae and microalgae typical of these waters.

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