San Ruffino Lake, Marche, Italy

Also known as:  Lago di San Ruffino

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at San Ruffino Lake.

If you’re considering San Ruffino Lake vacation rentals, we’ve made it super easy to explore accommodations and nearby hotels using the interactive map below. Simply click on a listing to compare similar properties, best rates and availability for your dates. Or keep scrolling to read our San Ruffino Lake guide!

San Ruffino Lake visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: Italy - Marche -

Every year San Ruffino Lake disappears, shrinking back to the river it originally was. Wildlife returns to explore the river’s shore and forage in the land that was lake bottom. The seasons change again and slowly the lake refills, reclaiming the space that was previously its own. As the years pass the cycle repeats itself, with the lake filling and disappearing over and over again. Fortunately for residents and visitors alike, however, San Ruffino Lake in the Marche region of Italy has something to delight in every season.

San Ruffino Lake, or Lago di San Ruffino as it is known in Italian, is a man-made reservoir created with the construction of a dam in 1961. It is an impoundment of the River Tenna and provides water for irrigation. When it is full, the lake has a surface area of 65 acres, a maximum depth of 50 feet and holds 2,027 acre-feet of water. In late spring through autumn, the dam is opened and San Ruffino Lake turns into meadows filled with birds including herons wading in the shallows at the river’s shore. Visitors can stroll around the reservoir or river depending on the time of year and see the deer park. The park is part of a government breeding program to increase the deer population.

The area’s holiday villas, vacation rentals and restaurants are largely unaffected by fluctuations in Lago di San Ruffino’s water levels. Only the scenery changes; sometimes visitors enjoy the local cuisine overlooking the sparkling water of the lake, and sometimes the view is wading birds and fresh green grass meadows. Nearby, the charming village of Amandola in the upper Tenna River Valley has interesting architecture and restaurants featuring the area’s mushrooms, truffles and cheese.

San Ruffino Lake sits at the foot of the Sibillini Mountains. Long considered a magical place, during the Middle Ages the mountains were believed to be inhabited by demons and fairies. Covered with beech trees with their glowing tan leaves and sprinkled with rare edelweiss and gentian, the mountains are still magic today. They are also part of the Monti Sibillini National Park. Established in 1993, the park stretches across over 172,974 acres in Marche and Umbria. With such a large area, the park has several different regions. The one closest to Lago di San Ruffino is known as the “Magic Slope” and includes medieval villages and stone abbeys tucked into the foot of the mountains. Wolves, golden eagles and peregrine falcons all make their homes in the forests of the national park.

Whether it is to enjoy San Ruffino as a lake or its time as a river, Lago di San Ruffino is magical in any season. Waterfowl, wading birds and sparkling water combine with quaint,charming villages and delicious local cuisine to make San Ruffino Lake an ideal Marche destination. Add the rich history and abundant wildlife of Sibillini’s Magic Slope, and a trip to Lago di San Ruffino is sure to become a favorite year round Italian destination.

Custom San Ruffino Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at San Ruffino Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Park

Best hotels and vacation rentals at San Ruffino Lake

The San Ruffino Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

San Ruffino Lake photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

San Ruffino Lake statistics & helpful links

divider

Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Surface Area: 65 acres

Maximum Depth: 50 feet

Water Volume: 2,027 acre-feet

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

Advertise your San Ruffino Lake vacation rental

LakeLubbers will soon offer homeowners and property managers the opportunity to to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily for accommodations. If you’d like additional details, please contact our advertising team here.

divider

Looking for the San Ruffino Lake forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

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