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A Perfect Italian weekend - Bracciano

A perfect weekend in Italy without the limitations of time, budget, or distance. Every week we ask interesting and inspirational Italians, and Italians at heart, to take us along for a perfect, local weekend.

Raffaella Marinucci

Meet Raffaella Marinucci, Environmental and Social Development specialist. She might have lived all over the world, but she will always remain a true Italian in heart and soul! For generations, her family has been from Bracciano, and still lives there. Growing up, Raffaella spent all those beautiful long summers in Bracciano, and still does, now with her own family. Bracciano has changed over the last decades and has become significantly busier, but Raffaella knows the places where to go and still find the authentic Bracciano experience! 


An absolute must for a perfect start to the day is a good coffee! Luckily this is not hard to come by in Italy but my favourite place to start the day is at Caffe' del Castello. It is the most iconic breakfast in front of the castle. After a long and lazy breakfast, we drive to the beach at Santa Severa, a small sea resort on the Via Aurelia, 30 min from Bracciano. A dip in the Ocean is always nice but the real reason we go over here is for an excellent lunch at Ristorante L'Isola Del Pescatore in Santa Severa, a casual, beachy white restaurant with unbelievably great, fresh seafood.  The raw fish platter followed by pasta is unbeatable.

Back in Bracciano at 5ish, after a shower, aperitivo. There are so many places that we try to change it up but there is the best cocktail bar close to my mum's place. It's called Hush Cafe, the owners are certified cocktail makers. The best! They are super savvy about cocktails and aperitivo. 


A nice lunch with the family, which basically is a MUST for Italian families on Sundays. When we are with a smaller group, we like to go LaVela, on the pier in Trevignano underneath the Peruvian pepper tree. When we are with the whole family we usually go to Ristorante Acquarella, outside in the garden overlooking the lake.  It is a magical setting.

Back in Bracciano, I ALWAYS stop for maritozzo con la pane at this bakery which is at the entrance of Bracciano. They have literally the BEST Maritozzi. My sister drives up from Rome only to pick some up!

Bakery: Pasticceria da Nazareno | Piazza Roma, 15-16, Bracciano

Maritozzo is essentially a brioche filled with panna, and fresh whipped cream. Before the cornetti (Italian croissants) took over, maritozzi was the favorite breakfast of the Romans, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s.

Gelato! My goodness, the best gelato ever! It's at the Piazza del Castello, just in the square. Seriously, the best! 

Dinner…. so many places, but we often go for dinner at slow food restaurant Salotto Belvedere. Amazing food and the view is to die for. The couple who are running the restaurant are the sweetest and hardest-working people I know. 


A Mini Guide to Lago Bracciano by Raffaella Marinucci

Lakeside Glamour at Lago Bracciano, Where Nature Meets Italian Chic

Nestled in the heart of Italy's enchanting countryside lies a hidden gem that beckons to the sophisticated traveler, a sparkling oasis framed by rolling hills and lush greenery, that exudes an air of timeless elegance that seamlessly intertwines with the rustic charm of its surroundings. A destination that effortlessly marries the grandeur of Italian heritage with a laid-back allure, Lago Bracciano emerges as the ultimate retreat close to Rome.

Imagine afternoons spent sipping wine on a terrace overlooking the tranquil waters, from lakeside picnics to strolls along cobbled paths. Lago Bracciano offers an invitation to immerse in the poetic romance of the Italian countryside. The lake's pristine waters invite you to sail into the horizon, while the charming villages dotted along the lake, a rustic elegance that effortlessly captivates. 


The prettiest towns near Rome

When in Rome, do like the Romans and escape to these three beautiful towns into the countryside. Along the picturesque shores of Lake Bracciano, a collection of charming villages awaits, each offering a unique blend of history, culture, and scenic beauty. Here are some of the best villages to explore during your visit to this enchanting area:



The namesake of the lake, Bracciano is a medieval town that boasts a stunning 15th-century Orsini-Odescalchi Castle, perched majestically above the water. The town's cobbled streets, quaint squares, and lovely lakeside promenade make it a perfect starting point.

Orsini-Odescalchi Castle is definitely worth a visit. The Castle has a fascinating history and intriguing stories. My mother even lived there during the war (and is also known as the wedding venue of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes).

Caffe' del Castello: It is the most iconic breakfast in front of the castle | Via Umberto I, 17, 00062 Bracciano

Salotto Belvedere: Amazing food and the view is to die for. Via Fioravanti 46 | Instagram @salottobelvedere

Ristorantino del Castello outside on the terrace for a nice lunch

Bakery to get the best maritozzo con la pane at Pasticceria da Nazareno | Piazza Roma, 15-16, Bracciano

Hush Cafe for cocktails and aperitivo. Via Arazzaria, 67, 00062 Bracciano |  instagram @hush_cafe_

PlanetSail : Lake-side restaurant, sun-loungers, (kite) surfing, sailing


Trevignano Romano

This colorful village exudes a relaxed atmosphere and is known for its lively piazza, charming alleys, and lakeside beach. My favorite spot is LaVela, you can sit there for hours on the pier, underneath the Peruvian pepper tree, overlooking the lake. Whether it is for a morning coffee, a long lunch, or aperitivo. 

Ristorante Acquarella: It's a family affair, outside in the garden, right on the lakeside

LaVela: On the pier, overlooking the lake, a magical place

Ristorant Il Porticciolo : Via Settevene Palo Primo Tronco da Trevignano 197, 00069 Trevignano Romano

Family-run restaurant with a garden overlooking the lake, rustic and simple with delicious fresh-water fish 


Anguillara Sabazia

Nestled along the lake's edge, Anguillara Sabazia is characterized by its romantic waterfront and well-preserved medieval architecture. The village offers a captivating old town area and stunning views.

Restaurant La Nepitella: "Quite simply, the best restaurant in Anguillara. The tonnarelli with mussels and clams are truly special, and eating by the lake is priceless."

Vicolo Dei Pescatori, 10, 00061 Anguillara Sabazia|  Instagram @ristorante_lanepitella



Located a bit further from the lake's shore, Sutri is known for its fascinating Etruscan heritage. Explore the archaeological sites, including ancient caves and an amphitheater carved into the tuff rock. The village's historical charm and unique attractions make it a hidden gem.



 Positioned on a hill overlooking the lake, Capranica has breathtaking panoramic views. The village is characterized by its medieval architecture, narrow streets, and charming squares. Visit the Santa Teresa Sanctuary for its stunning frescoes and peaceful ambiance.


Canale Monterano

A short distance from the lake, Canale Monterano is a unique village known for its thermal springs and well-preserved medieval architecture. Wander through the ancient streets, visit the local castle ruins, and explore the natural beauty of the surrounding area.



This charming village is known for its tranquility and proximity to lush natural landscapes. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere as you stroll through the streets lined with historic buildings, and don't miss the chance to explore the nearby Martignano Lake Nature Reserve.

Each of these villages offers a distinct experience and a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the region. Whether you're drawn to medieval architecture, lakeside charm, or scenic vistas, Lake Bracciano's surrounding villages have something special to offer every traveler.


Cycling Routes

The best way to discover the area is by bicycle. Plinius has selected a few routes in our Komoot Account. Download the App and look for “Cycling around Lake Bracciano”


Restaurants along the Lake 

Ristorante Acquarella: Outside in the garden, right on the lakeside  | Lungolago di Polline, 4 Acquarella - Trevignano Romano

Ristorant Il Porticciolo : Via Settevene Palo Primo Tronco da Trevignano 197, 00069 Trevignano Romano

Family-run restaurant with a garden overlooking the lake, rustic and simple with delicious fresh-water fish 

La Vela Caffè

Via della Rena, 23, 00069 Trevignano Romano



Centrovelico 3V Sailing school & rental 
Via della Rena, 112, 00069 Trevignano Romano | +39 06 9999 9101|

Sailing Club H2O is a windsurfing school based in Trevignano Romano, located on the shores of Lake Bracciano. | Via della Rena, 93 Trevignano Romano


Day at the beach 

Ristorante Di Pesce a Santa Severa: Via Cartagine, 1 00058 Santa Severa | Instagram: @isola_del_pescatore

A casual, beachy white restaurant with unbelievably great, fresh seafood.  The raw fish platter followed by pasta is unbeatable.


Day in Rome

Travel from Bracciano to Rome by train, the fastest services can get you there in as little as 45 minutes though. You'll usually find 14 trains per day running.

Rome City Guide - The best places to see & visit. Local insider's knowledge and off-the-beaten-track places. The eternal city has so much to offer away from the crowds. With the Plinius team based in Rome, we can let you into all our secrets only a local can give you.


My Secret 

Never travel to Italia without downloading the Osterie d'Italia App because you will always have the best slow-food restaurants at your fingertips. Although the app is Italian it is super easy to figure out. You select your location and it will indicate the best place to eat, close to where you are. 



Olivia Green