Things to do in Bracciano – Italy

Just go 30 kilometers out of Rome to get out of the chaos of the capital and you find yourself suddenly immersed in the countryside between nature and character laden villages.

Bracciano is a town and commune in the Lazio region of Italy, located about 30 kilometers northwest of Rome. It is situated on the shores of Lake Bracciano, which is a popular tourist destination. The town is known for its castle, the Castello Orsini-Odescalchi , which is one of the most famous castles in Italy.

There are many beautiful places. Bracciano is a pretty town halfway between Rome and Viterbo. It is surrounded by history and nature, famous for its lake of the same name and for the “Orsini-Odescalchi” Castle. This was the location of some famous weddings, such as Tom Cruise with Katie Holmes and Eros Ramazzotti with Michelle Hunziger.

The village stands on a hill overlooking the volcanic lake and its origins are lost in the mist of time.

The main things to do in Bracciano include:

  • Walk along the shore of Lake Bracciano or even better get out on the water sailing
  • Take a tour or visit the museum at Castello Orsini-Odescalchi
  • if you’re an aviation buff visit the Italian Airforce Museum that has a large collection of planes and a nice art collection if planes aren’t your thing
  • Enjoy the history, ambiance, coffee and food taking a stroll around the town

Must Do

Certainly while visiting Bracciano you cannot miss a visit inside the historic castle. In fact every day or almost, it is possible to book a guided tour of the castle, all of the internal rooms of the historic castle view the history and curiosities and more hidden about it.

Bracciano Source: Flickr

History of Bracciano

Bracciano has been inhabited since Etruscan times but the first urban settlement dates back to the 10th century. In the 11th century it became the property of the prefects of Vico. They transformed the tower, built to defend themselves from the Saracen attacks, into a fortress on top of the hill.

In the fifteenth century it passed to the Orsini family. They were one of the most powerful families of the time, and Bracciano became a thriving town. Napoleone Orsini and Virgilio Orsini had the Vico fortress transformed into the splendid pentagonal castle that still dominates the area.

In the second half of the seventeenth century the Orsini fell out of favor. In 1686 they sold Bracciano to the Odescalchi family to whom the castle still belongs.

The historic center winds under the Castle of Bracciano. It’s an interweaving of medieval streets full of churches. This includes the Cathedral of “Santo Stefano” and ancient buildings including the “Palazzo Comunale.”

Lake Bracciano

If you’d like to admire a breathtaking view of Lake Bracciano and the surrounding area, just go to the “Belvedere della Sentinella“. This was once a defensive bastion, and you can look out from the terrace.

For those who want to go around the lake of Bracciano then there is a boat that from April to September leads to admire the three municipalities that overlook the water basin (Bracciano, Anguillara and Trevignano).

There is ample space for those who are passionate about history and planes, in fact there is the “Air Force Museum of Vigna di Valle”, which with its 13,000 square meters is one of the largest aviation museums in the world.

Do not miss events such as the re-enactment of the Passion of Christ that winds throughout the country, and the Infiorata that takes place on Corpus Christi Sunday.

Bracciano is also surprising for its culinary offerings the specialties its lake fish, Maremmana cattle, pigs, game, porcini mushrooms and truffles, you are spoiled for choice. Just sit in one of its taverns to savour the flavours of this part of Lazio that is little known to mass tourism.

Bracciano Source: Flickr

How do you get to Bracciano from Rome by train?

To get from Rome to Bracciano by train, you can take the regional train from Roma Termini, Rome’s main train station. The journey takes about an hour and trains run several times a day.

Here is a step-by-step guide to getting to Bracciano from Rome by train:

  1. From Rome, go to Roma Termini train station. This is the main train station in Rome and is located in the city center. You can get there by taking the subway, bus, or taxi.
  2. Once you arrive at Roma Termini, go to the ticketing office or use the ticket machines to purchase a ticket to Bracciano. Make sure to check the schedule to ensure that you are catching a train that goes to Bracciano.
  3. Board the regional train to Bracciano. The train will depart from a platform at Roma Termini and the journey to Bracciano takes about an hour.
  4. Get off the train at Bracciano. The train station in Bracciano is located in the center of the town, so you can easily walk to your destination from there.

It’s important to note that regional trains in Italy do not accept credit or debit cards, so you will need to purchase a ticket in advance or have cash on hand to buy a ticket at the station. You can also purchase tickets online in advance through the Trenitalia website.

What do you like best about Bracciano?

Certainly it’s the lake. It is a great attraction for locals and tourists alike. It is very nice to be able to see it every day. But what I like most is that you find small paradises both inside and outside Bracciano, leaving a considerable space for nature. There is also another lake just outside Bracciano, this one a little smaller but equally beautiful: the “Martignano Lake “.

Throughout the area there are many land holdings and estates with horses. There are paths that lead from one lake to another in the midst of woods and the unspoiled nature of the region.

It is possible to rent a horse and let themselves be taken for long gallops in the countryside to discover breathtaking landscapes.

Best Walk in Bracciano

In the evening, especially on weekends, the historic center is full of many people. They walk undisturbed along the historic streets, among many restaurants and bars. They walk through the crowded streets that lead to a place called “Belvedere”. There is a terrace with a great view of the countryside. The area is often popular with young couples who promise their love to each other.

Best Restaurants in Bracciano

There are many places where you can taste typical local dishes. Many of these places are farmhouses. Or they are outdoor terraces in large scale to host and organize real banquets and receptions of all kinds. “La Baita” for example, is a farm located in the Bracciano countryside. It is a few kilometers from the shores of the lake and the beaches of the Tyrrhenian coast or “Monte La Puglia” which offers dishes cooked according to ancient traditions.

  1. Trattoria da Nando: This family-owned trattoria is located in the heart of Bracciano and is known for its delicious traditional Italian dishes. The menu includes a range of pasta dishes, pizzas, and grilled meats, as well as a selection of local wines.
  2. Ristorante L’Oasi: Located in a beautiful setting by the lake, Ristorante L’Oasi is a popular spot for romantic dinners and special occasions. The restaurant serves a range of traditional Italian dishes, including pasta, seafood, and grilled meats.
  3. Osteria dei Cavalieri: Located in the center of Bracciano, Osteria dei Cavalieri is a popular spot for traditional Italian cuisine. The menu includes a range of pasta dishes, pizzas, and grilled meats, as well as a selection of local wines. The restaurant has a cozy, rustic atmosphere and is a great place to enjoy a leisurely meal.

Best Places to Stay in Bracciano

There are a number of hotels located in Bracciano and the surrounding area, ranging from luxury resorts to budget-friendly options.

Some popular hotels in Bracciano include:

  • Hotel Castello: Located in the center of Bracciano, this 4-star hotel is housed in a 15th-century castle and features a restaurant, a bar, and a swimming pool.
  • Hotel Moresco: This 4-star hotel is located on the shores of Lake Bracciano and features a restaurant, a bar, and a wellness center.
  • Relais Villa d’Assio: This luxury hotel is located in a 19th-century villa in the countryside outside of Bracciano and features a restaurant, a bar, and a spa.
  • Hotel Ristorante La Pineta: Located in the center of Bracciano, this budget-friendly hotel features a restaurant and a bar.
  • Alfredo Hotel is well-known for its family-friendly environment and proximity to great restaurants and attractions, Alfredo Hotel makes it easy to enjoy the best of Bracciano.
  • Agriturismo L.B. Stud di Riccioni G. is a few km outside of Bracciano and a great place for rest and relaxation.
  • La Rosa del Lago offers free bikes, a garden and a barbecue. The accommodation is in Bracciano, and guests benefit from complimentary WiFi and private parking available on site.
  • Hotel Ristorante Villa Maria has a restaurant, bar, a shared lounge and garden in Bracciano. There is a terrace and guests can make use of free WiFi and free private parking.

Our Top 5 Places to Stay in Bracciano

Our price guide should be taken as a guide only as there is a large disparity between peak and off-season prices. The links take you to TripAdvisor where you can compare prices between Agoda/Expedia etc

Economy/Backpackers <$70Mid Range Hotel $70-$120High End / 5 Star Hotel >$120
Camping PorticcioloB&B La Casa FioritaVilla Clementina Hotel
Camping AzzurroB&B I Gatti del CastelloAgriturismo Tenuta Monte La Guardia
Camping Roma FlashInn Bracciano SuiteLa Gismonda
Best Places to Stay in Bracciano Italy

Best Music/Festival

For some years now in the first 3 days of August the “EURO MUSIC CONTEST” has been celebrated. The Festival intends to promote the best independent Italian and international realities, and to offer groups that offer their original music a stage and an audience to the height of the best European festivals with musical groups also coming from abroad.

Best Nightlife

Bracciano is a picturesque town located in the province of Rome, Italy. It is a popular tourist destination due to its beautiful medieval castle, charming streets, and stunning views of Lake Bracciano. However, the town is also known for its vibrant nightlife scene. In this article, we will explore the best bars and nightlife spots in Bracciano.

  1. L’Osteria del Borgo L’Osteria del Borgo is a cozy bar located in the heart of Bracciano’s historic center. It offers a wide selection of wines, cocktails, and craft beers, as well as a menu of delicious local and international dishes. The bar’s rustic decor and friendly atmosphere make it the perfect spot to unwind after a day of sightseeing.
  2. Il Castello Il Castello is a trendy bar and restaurant located just a stone’s throw from Bracciano’s famous castle. It offers a stunning view of the lake and the castle, making it a popular spot for a romantic night out. The bar serves a wide range of cocktails and has an extensive wine list.
  3. Bar Sport Bar Sport is a popular sports bar located on the main square in Bracciano. It has a lively atmosphere and is a favorite spot among locals and tourists alike. The bar offers a variety of drinks and snacks, as well as live music and sports events on TV.
  4. La Piazzetta La Piazzetta is a stylish wine bar located in the center of Bracciano. It has a large selection of wines from all over Italy and serves a variety of gourmet snacks and small plates. The bar also has a beautiful outdoor terrace, perfect for sipping wine while enjoying the sunset over the lake.
  5. American Bar The American Bar is a classic cocktail bar located in the heart of Bracciano’s historic center. It has a retro ambiance and a large selection of classic cocktails, as well as an extensive wine list. The bar also offers live music and events throughout the year.
  6. Bar Del Molo Bar Del Molo is a small bar located on the shores of Lake Bracciano. It offers a stunning view of the lake and serves a variety of drinks and snacks. It is the perfect spot for a relaxing evening by the water.
  7. Irish Pub Bracciano The Irish Pub Bracciano is a lively bar located in the town center. It has a great selection of beers on tap, as well as live music and sports events on TV. The pub also offers a menu of pub food and snacks.

Best day trip out of Bracciano

Just outside Bracciano, a trip to 2 other places that tell the story at the centre of an always enchanting nature is very interesting;

Ceri, medieval city and Etruscan and Anguillara necropolis, another medieval city with the Air Force Historical Museum at Vigna de Valle.

Something that not many travellers would know about Bracciano

The Trajan Aqueduct: an incredible and very recent discovery of an ancient aqueduct. Built in 109 AD by the emperor Trajan it connects the lake and the city.

A little less than an hour from Civitavecchia and 50 km from Rome, there is a city lost in time. It is worthy of the most terrifying legends and ghost stories. It is “Monterano Antica”, located north of Lake Bracciano and two steps from Canale di Monterano.

Interesting facts about Bracciano

  • Bracciano is a town located in the Lazio region of Italy, with a population of around 20,000 people
  • The town is about 30 km north west of Rome.
  • Lake Bracciano is a caldera and was formed by a magma chamber collapsing over 40,000 years ago. The lake is a reservoir for Rome so consequently motor boats are banned from the lake.
  • Lake Bracciano is the 8th largest lake in Italy and is a caldera.
  • The patron saint of Bracciano is Saint Sebastian.
  • The population of Bracciano is estimated at 18,400 in 2022.
  • The main industries in Bracciano are tourism and agriculture.
  • The town is also home to the Bracciano Castle, which is a well-preserved medieval fortress that is open to the public.
  • Bracciano is an important agricultural center, with many farms and vineyards located in the surrounding area.
  • The town is also home to several festivals and events, including the Bracciano Jazz Festival and the Bracciano Wine Festival.
  • The town is easily accessible by train, bus, or car from other major cities in Italy, such as Rome and Florence.
  • Bracciano has rail links from Rome from 2 stations Ostiense and Valle Aurelia. It takes approximately 55 minutes by arrive in Bracciano by train.
  • Bracciano is located in close proximity to several other popular tourist destinations, such as the Etruscan ruins at Tarquinia and the Renaissance town of Viterbo.