Off to the Lake – Bracciano

by Luke Archer

Lying traffic lights, insane people and a penchant for corruption can make Rome a bit of a headache. After two months of city stress, I was more than a little happy to find solace in the beauty of Bracciano. Mountainous backdrops, winding streets in the hills, castles and lakes, just an hour’s train journey from the centre of Rome.

The first noticeable thing is the Castle [Castello Orsini-Odescalchi], a fifteen-century, military-renaissance beast. Also the place where Katie Holmes made a pretty bad decision and married Tom Cruise (I suspect a few days in the dungeon were behind this).

The shops are in-keeping with the medieval vibe of the town, in both attitude and produce. In one, very rustic, delicatessen (still with the odd bit of tinsel knocking around – in April), the owner told me that being a vegetarian was a swear word, my two female companions were beautiful, and that it was stupid Italian women considered foreigners attractive. I don’t get the feeling I was very popular. Charming as he was, his rolls were quite nice.

Anyway, all was well when I got a good look at the lake. Apologies for photo quality, it was misty and I am rubbish at taking photographs.

Another life lesson was learned, after listening to directions from strangers that led us in completely the wrong direction. But I did see my first olive trees and I found swan lake.

Bellissimo. Except for the Eastern European dance music playing in the background of the above photo; not quite the Tchaikovsky I had envisioned.