Once upon a time, there was a beautiful nymph, called Ondina, that called the lake Carezza, at the foot of the mount Latemar, home. She had a gorgeous voice and she was used to sing to gladden the merchants walking to the Karerpass. The songs sung by the nymph reached also Mazaré, a sorcerer who lived on the top of the mount Latemar, and deeply falled in love with her. Mazaré had been trying a lot of ways to win over Ondina, but he cannot succeed. Hence, he decided to seek for an help of a witch, who adviced him to dress up as a merchant and spread out colours, forming a rainbow, to reach the girl.
So did the sorcerer: he made a beautiful rainbow from the mount Latemar and walked on it to the lake. Nevertheless, got carried away with the excitement, Mazaré forgot to dress up himself and, when he showed up to Ondina, she got scared and dove into the lake. The sorcerer, gone through the roof, ripped up the rainbow and threw it into the lake, colouring its water with the colours of the rainbow.
The Lake Carezza (“Lago di Carezza” in Italian and “Karersee” in German) is a the top of the rank of the most beautiful places of Italy. It also known in Ladin as “Lec de Ergobando“, which means “Rainbow Lake“, bacause of its clear water, which vary its colour from emerald green to intense blue.
Tales and lakes lover as am I, while living in Trentino region, how couldn’t miss this chance and take a look to this magic place?
So, last year, in a hot day of May, a friend and I were thinking about going on a one-day getaway trip by motorbike. I reflected a couple of minutes abou a possible destination not too close and not too far, and then I came up with a brilliant idea.
“Let’s go visit the lake Carezza?” – “Why not?”
But let me tell you everything!
HOW TO REACH THE LAKE CAREZZA
The Lake Carezza is located in Nova Levante, on the border between Bolzano and Trento provinces. Thanks to its strategic position, there are a lot of ways to reach the lake.
Coming from the south (Trento, Verona, Venice), once you left the A22 motorway at Bolzano exit, you cross Bolzano city and then take the SS41 toward Nova Levante.
We had a lot of time, so my friend and I opted for a slower but more panoramic way, going through the Fiemme Valley (Val di Fiemme) and then the Fassa Valley (Val di Fassa) on the SS48.
Arrived at Vigo di Fassa, you have to turn toward Karerpass (Passo Costalunga) catching the SS241. This pass is at 1752 meters on the sea level and it is the bounday marker between Trento and Blozano provinces. From the pass stars a lot of trekking path throght the woods, where you can enjoy fantastic experiences during both spring, summer and autumn.
Going beyond the pass, the route bengins to go down and the scent of the pine trees becames more more intense. In the deep green of the wood, following the haripin turns, suddenly you can glimpse an emerald-coloured glass-like lake. I’ m not a person who shows his/her emotions easily, but this time I’ve to confess that I couldn’t refrain from exclaiming: “Wow! That’s amazing!”
THE STOP AT THE LAKE: PARKING
Coming by car or by private bus, in front od the lake, there is a pay and display parking (I don’t know the price, sorry). This parking lot is directly connected to the entrance of the lake path by a pedestrian underground passage.
Whereas, if you come by bike or motorbike (as it was my case), you can park on the side of the street. In summer time, pay particular attention not to bother the pedestrians and to the drivers!
THE LAKE & HOW TO VISIT IT
The Lake Carezza is famous for its clear water and its intense emerald colour, that varies depending on the point of view you see it. In the background, the mount Latemar appears awe-inspiring and you can easily see its image in the water’s reflection.
Depending on the water level, this small and roundly-shaped lake looks like an heart. It is sorrounded by a beautiful pine tree wood, which makes the atmosphere magic. I swear, the scent of pine tree is incredibly strong, but pleasant for whom love it! In order to avoid water pollution and keep thi place pristine, you aren’t allowed to go near the shore, but you can enjoy all the shades of blue walking on a path, which goes all around the lake. The path is flat and it is not too sunny, as next to the wood, so that it is very easy to walk around and your stroll will take less than 30 mins to complete the perimeter! Of course, it is unpaved, so I strongly suggest to wear a pair of sneackers and comfortable clothes: a pair of jeans and a T-shirt will be perfect!
WHEN YOU SHOULD VISIT THE LAKE
I don’t believe that there is a “perfect period” to visit the Rainbow Lake. It is magic all year round. Anyway, I’d advise against going there in summer. Not because it isn’t a suitable season, but, being at 15oo metres on the sea level, it is a perfect getaway from the hot cities and it is unbelievably crowded with tourists.
I went there in May and I can swear I could find the right temperature and the right amount of people: there was just one group of Japanese tourists!
In addiction, if you want dive yourself more into the nature, from the lake path start lots of trekking routes through the wood, suitable for all skill levels. For more detailed info about the lake Carezza and the sorrounding area, I suggest to check the official website of Val d’Ega out!
DID YOU KNOW ABOUT..?
I recently found out that in Japan, in 1982, a nice book about the tale of Ondina, Mazaré and the Rainbow Lake has been published. It has been written by the professor Tetsuo Sakamoto (坂本鉄男) and illustrated by a famous Japanese artist and illustrator Chihiro Iwasaki (岩崎 知弘).
The book (in Japanese only) is available on Amazon Japan and it is called “The Rainbow Lake” (にじのみずうみ – Niji no Mizuumi).
Carezza is undoubtly a magic place and let me fascinated. A place I keep in my heart. So, I can’t wait to come back there this year as well! Maybe at its most gorgeous in the early morning or at dusk, to see new shades of colour.
Will I be able to hear Ondina’s voice and see her showing up from the lake?