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2019 SEPTEMBER 20 to 21 ITALY, Vitrochiano and surrounds

Exploring the unknown places.

sunny 27 °C
View 2019 Adventure - Germany, Malta, Italy & Indonesia on Cindy Bruin's travel map.


Lyn feeling better today so we headed out to explore the area a little. First stop was the MEDIEVIL village of VITORCHIANO, where we are staying just outside of.

Vitrochiano is a small town about 95km north of Rome, near the local provincial capital of Viterbo. It is built above an Etruscan settlement and like other such sites in the region, it clings to a peperino rock bluff perched above two deep gorges, an impregnable position. The town is surrounded by 13th-century walls and the beautifully preserved historical center can be accessed from the main gate, Porta Romana. Several panoramic viewpoints look over the gorges below.


View of village from across the valley.


Next stop was the ruined village of CELLANO, where we had an ice cream.

Celleno is located in the eastern part of the Tuscia area of Viterbo and is set in the countryside dotted with cherry trees. The old hamlet is by now uninhabited and it is located on the top of the hill, a little far from the new Celleno. The old hamlet consists mainly of small red tuff houses, without plaster, for the most part in ruins, because they were abandoned after the disastrous earthquakes that caused great damage to the village. Some finds testify the presence of the first settlements dating back to the 13th century B.C., but probably the area was already inhabited in the Neolitic age as it is proved by the finding of stone weapons dating back to that period. Celleno is located in a strategic position and being on the road for Viterbo , it was invaded by the Romans that seized it in 264 B.C. throwing the Etruscans out. Later it was attacked and sacked by the Goths, the Longobards and the Byzantines.


Quick stop for lunch with a view.


Our third stop was LUBRIANO which offered amazing views over the valley where Civita di Bagnoregio stands.

Lubriano overlooks the Valle dei Calanchi, the deep jagged ochre clay gullies that make this part of Tuscia so characteristic, just in front of Civita di Bagnoregio, a little more than 100 km from Rome.


Civita di Bagnoregio


We returned home after stopping at a supermarket for supplies. Enough for today, Lyn had done very well up and about.
I cooked pasta with pesto and pork.


Another day out exploring. Today we went for a drive around Lake Bolsena.


We stopped and visited 3 villages/towns. MARTA CAPODIMONTE BOLSENA

Lake Bolsena is sometimes called Italy’s belly button from its shape and location in the middle of the peninsula. It is located about 100 km north of Rome and is surrounded by the beautiful landscapes of Northern Lazio. Lake Bolsena is the largest lake in the region of northern Lazio, but it is the largest volcanic lake in all of Europe. It was formed about 370,000 years ago, when the multiple volcanoes of the region spewed forth so much that the underlying rock in the area of the lake, the caldera, collapsed into a deep bowl. This bowl was gradually filled by rain water and underwater sources. The volcanoes continued underwater, forming the two islands in the middle of the lake, L’Isola Bisentina and L’Isola Martana. The lake covers an area of 115 sq km (44 sq miles) and has a circumference of 43km or 28 miles. It is a deep lake as well, reaching a maximum depth of 151 meters or 500 feet. Unlike most lakes, Lake Bolsena displays tidelike movements, called “sessa” with the difference between low and high tides being as much as 50cm or 20 inches.






Always time to stop for gelato.




Picnic lunch by the lake, then I went in for a refreshing swim.


Another big day out exploring the area. It's so nice here, no big well know cities or destinations, it's like discovering unknow Italy.

Posted by Cindy Bruin 11:32 Archived in Italy Tagged lake marta bolsena vitrochiano celleno lubriano capodimonte Comments (0)


Off to the lake for a bit of R & R.



The crater of Apoyo was formed approximately 23,000 years ago, after a strong volcanic explosion which left a hole measuring six kilometers in diameter. Time went by and subterranean waters and rain filled the crater and the slopes became covered by vegetation. Today this crater is considered to be a sleeping volcano, in repose, with certain volcanic activity still present through a few hot springs in its interior.

The Apoyo lagoon has a surface of 2,110 hectares. It is very deep: according to investigations the lowest level of the conic hole is 100 meters underneath the sea level and the shore of the lagoon is 75 meters above sea level. The water is the most crystal-clear out of all fresh water bodies in Nicaragua and possibly in Central America. Even though it is not fit for direct human consumption, it is very clean, with a low level of natural or human contamination.


That's it, pancakes for breakfast 4 mornings in a row is enough, time to move on. The shuttle bus collected us from our hostel and took us the 18km to Paradiso Hostel on the banks of Lake Apoyo. I have booked us here for 2 nights - a little time out from our busy travel routine to just sit around, sunbath, swim in the lake and relax.

Although we are in a dorm room (that was all that was available for us) it's ok. The room is fairly large and we only shared it with 2 others the first night, however the 2nd night all beds were full. I played the 'old lady card' when making the booking and we managed to get 3 bottom beds in the
4 bunk bed room.


The food served at the hostel was overpriced and ordinary but as we are a captive audience here with little choice of anywhere else to go we did have to have most meals in the hostel restaurant. There website shows delicious yummy looking food but they have obviously had a change of cook since this was shot.

We did manage to find a beach restaurant on the adjoining beach that seemed to be where the locals came for the day out. This place served much cheaper beer and the food was more reasonably priced so we had lunch there both days. Deep fried chicken wings and fries

But most of our time for these 2 days was spent lazing in the sun and swimming in the lagoon. It was beautiful. Cindy took Dolly for a paddle in the canoe on the lake. Dolly also ventured out into deep water on a tube. Amazing for her.




We had to check out of the room by 10am, so we took our stuff up to breakfast. We did not have much as we left most of our luggage back in Granada. We sat around chatting and wasting time.

We ventured to the beach next door again for a cold beer and lunch as we were more impressed by their prices than what was on offer at the hostel. We did have our dinners and breakfasts at the hostel and they were not very nice and way overpriced with prices quoted in US$.

The shuttle back to Granada was not until 3.45 so we still had most of the day to enjoy the lake.



In the shuttle van on the way back to Granada Lyn remembered she had left her hat (the panama hat) and snorkel behind in the hostel room locker. Dolly's hat was with it as well. Panic panic !! When we arrived at Oasis hostel they phoned Paradiso and I spoke with them explaining what we had forgotten to take from the locker. They found our belongings and said they would put on the shuttle bus tomorrow for us. Phew

Checked back into our same room 'E', collected our luggage from storage and then went out for a cocktail. Which actually turned into 3 cocktails each and a happy night.



Today we did nothing! Nobody seemed interesting in doing anything!

At about 5pm Lyn & I walked to the supermarket to get some supplies for dinner, then she cooked at the hostel.


After a pancake breakfast at Oasis hostel, we walked a few blocks to the bus stop to find a bus to take us to Masaya, just 18km out of Granada.


The chicken bus was just C$10 = A$0.44 each way so did not break the bank. It dropped us right in the centre of the market which was selling all kinds of fruit and vege and fresh meat. You could buy a chicken ready for the oven still with half a dozen un-laid eggs in the cavity and we also saw live piglets ready to be taken home for fattening.


Then we walked through the section that sold shoes and clothing. We saw a couple of frocks that we fancied but had to pass because of lack of space in our already bulging luggage.

Then another big section that sold handicrafts and souvenirs from Nicaragua. To tell the truth most of these repetitive stalls were very overpriced and we did not buy anything. I don't understand how there can be so many selling the same crap and still survive. This market is on the tourist trail and apparently lots of tour buses stop here but still there seems to be a lot more stock compared to demand in my opinion.

Dolly managed to get a haircut in one of the many salons in the market and paid just C$44 = A$1.95 - pretty good job, cant really stuff up with short hair, although they would not have much experience cutting short hair as all the females have long hair and would probably only ever get trims.

Lunch time we found a kiosk on the side of the road for a cool drink and a local snack, not sure what it was but tasted ok and it was a shaded spot to sit.

Found our way back to the bus station in the middle of the market, Lyn purchased some ready to cook vegies C$20 = A$0.88 for our dinner back at the hostel tonight and we jumped on a bus heading back to Granada.

As we entered town we got off the bus to check out a supermarket and walked the rest of the way into the centre. It was not far but thirsty work so we went directly to our first bar for a large Victoria Frost or two to cool down.


After dinner we watched a movie at the hostel, The Accountant. Then off to bed, we are again heading out of Granada tomorrow.

Posted by Cindy Bruin 17:05 Archived in Nicaragua Tagged lake apoyo masaya Comments (1)

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