Italian Dolomites – Lake Molveno
Surrounded by mountains of the Brenta Dolomites and the Paganella mountain chain, beautiful Lake Molveno offers a truly breathtaking scenery. The village of the same name lies at the northern shore of the lake, its old town with a selection of cafes, bars and restaurants is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the atmosphere and views.
Only an one-hour drive north from its big sister, Lake Garda, Lake Molveno makes a refreshing day trip but its reputation as a climatic spa is supported by a wide range of hotels means that it merits a longer stay.
Max depth: 123 m (deepest lake in the region of Trentino)
Length: 4.5 km
Width: 1,5 km
Capacity: 180 millioni m3
It is an ideal place to enjoy some walking or water sports, the wind “Ora del Garda” which blows daily from March to October, makes it perfect for sailing. In addition to that, there are boat rentals, canoe tours or a scuba diving courses on offer. The cableway and the chairlifts of Molveno ensure comfortable access to Lake Molveno’s Pradel plateau at 1.350 m in the heart of the Adamello-Brenta Natural Park. From here mountain lovers gain easy access to the most stunning trekking paths. For lovers of culture and history the region’s capital Trento is worth a visit.
Just recently, in November 2016, the lake turned itself into a particular touristic attraction when it was emptied for planned maintenance to the Nembia Hydro-Electric powerplant. The emptying of the large basin, which collects the waters of the Sarca river and various rivers from the surrounding Val Rendena and Val di Genova, occurs every ten years in order to check the state of the hydraulic systems and the massive water discharge tunnel.
Molveno is the largest alpine lake above an altitude of 800 m and is Trentino’s deepest, and the process of drainage has reduced it customary 123 m depth by some 50 m. The original 180 million cubic meters of water have been reduced down to just 50 million. The lake’s ecosystem is not endangered however, as the remaining 70 m are more than deep enough for the preservation of the various fish species.
For the time being, visitors to Lake Molveno will be treated to a unique landscape, which, if viewed from the right angle, has a certain lunar quality to it. If you are in the area you should take advantage of this rare event to walk on the lake seabed in this somewhat surreal setting which intensifies the breathtaking panorama of the surrounding rocks.
The lake is expected to refill again in late May, but the progress of this and the duration of the work to be undertaken will depend, in particular on the weather and on the snow melt this spring.