Lake Misurina, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy

Lake Locations:

Italy - Trentino-Alto Adige -

Also known as:  Lago di Misurina

One of the most scenic destinations in Italy’s Dolomite Mountains, Lake Misurina is a timeless treasure. The largest natural lake in the Caldore District of the Trentino-Alto Adige Tourist Region, Lago di Misurina is set within a heavily forested area of the Parco Naturale Tre Cime or Three Peaks Nature Park. A World Natural Heritage Site, the Three Peaks are Great Peak at 9839 feet, Little Peak at 9373 feet, and Western Peak at 9754 feet. The mirror-surfaced lake set against a green backdrop of trees and the towering Dolomites is a popular spot for holidays, hiking and leisure activities. Hotels scattered near the shore accommodate the many travelers who come to enjoy all the area has to offer.

Lake Misurina is located near the major ski and snow sport destinations in this area of the Italian Alps; the terrain lends itself to hiking, rock climbing and strenuous sports. The valleys are home to small farms, so their flatter roadways are popular for leisurely walks and cycling through a pastoral setting. The lake itself is ideal for picnics and scenic strolls along the lakefront. Some of the hotels here specialize as spa facilities and offer extensive health services. Just the clear atmosphere and serene nature of the lake instill a sense of wellness in visitors. Italy’s most famous facility for asthmatic children is located at the lake, taking advantage of the pure mountain air. Because of its popularity as a ski destination, Lake Misurina and the nearest town of any size, Cortina, are somewhat expensive, particularly during ski season.

Area ski lifts are open in summer for visitors intent on getting a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding mountains and Lake Misurina. Many hiking trails cross the surrounding nature park, and guided tours can best locate unusual features, wildlife and spectacular viewpoints. Hiking tours and activities are regularly scheduled by Italian hiking groups; the activity is so popular that a “National Week of Excursions” is scheduled each year with a variety of hiking activities in the area near Cortina. The ‘week of excursions’ actually lasts closer to a month, with many activities planned, including cycle tours, hikes and walks.

Cultural activities have grown up centered around music, food and history relating to this unique area of the Alps. The San Vito Blues & Soul Festival features world-class artists and draws hundreds of music lovers to its festival atmosphere. The 16th century Italian Renaissance artist, Tizano Vecelli, more commonly known as Titan, was born near Lake Misurina in Cadore. His early home is preserved as a tourist location. The town of Pieve de Caldore holds a statue of the artist in the town piazza, and a local church holds the only painting by the great master that remains in the area.

In keeping with the rich folklore tradition of the area, a myth explains the origins of Lake Misurina. The original Misurina was the spoiled princess grandchild of a loving and generous king. Whenever Princess Misurina wanted anything, she’d scream and kick her feet until Grandpa-King indulged her. One day Misurina found out that a witch on a nearby mountain owned a magic mirror that allowed her to see everything happening in the world. So, she demanded the magic mirror and kicked and screamed until she elicited a promise from Grandpa-the-King to obtain it for her. Unfortunately, the old witch drove a hard bargain, forcing the King to allow himself to be turned into a mountain to shade her herb garden. Misurina was distraught when she found out her beloved grandfather had sacrificed his life for her, and the tears she cried filled the lake forever known by her name.

The area near Lake Misurina has a long history of human occupation, with archeological evidence showing the area was inhabited over 2500 years ago. Two World Wars saw heavy action in this borderland between Italy and Austria. Periods of prosperity have alternated with hard times. Many of the smaller farmers have long since left, but historic churches and buildings are being preserved and carefully restored in the surrounding towns. Between the scenic mountains, lake and forests, the local countryside is a photographer’s dream come true. Several forms of lodgings exist in the area besides the hotels at Lake Misurina. Farm-stays, guest cottages, holiday apartments and local inns are all available. Along the main roads, many small cafes offer their particular specialties, usually accompanied by a warm camaraderie proffered by the local citizens. Several cycling trails in the area take advantage of the abandoned rail beds left by long-defunct rail lines, including some spectacular stone bridges across valley gorges.

Once the course of the historic Dolomite Gold Cup auto race, the roads in the area are still popular for scenic drives through the park. The narrow mountain roads are full of switchbacks and challenging curves. There have been many improvements made to the roads in recent years, and the main roads to the ski areas are passable all year long. Other secondary roads may be closed during periods of heavy snows. The valley roads pass vegetable stands and local cafes while the forested areas are filled with deer and small mammals. And, as a measure of peace and beauty at the end of a busy day, Lake Misurina awaits, silent and serene within its fame of woods and mountains. It’s a scene that will play in your memory forever.

Things to do at Lake Misurina

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Biking
  • Wildlife Viewing

Lake Misurina Photo Gallery

Lake Misurina Statistics & Helpful Links

divider

Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 35 acres

Shoreline Length: 2 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 5,755 feet

Maximum Depth: 16 feet

Spread the word! Share our Lake Misurina article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.