The only example of a peat bog in the whole of northern Italy, situated on a beautiful grassland plateau dominating the Ospitale and Dardagna valleys.

Lake Pratignana, or Lake Pratignano, is one of the most interesting places to visit from an environmental point of view.

Upon reaching the plateau, the view that opens up in front of you is something quite unique. Beyond the lake, the ski resort of Corno alle Scale is clearly visible on the horizon, particularly when covered in snow, and, looking towards the right, the peaks of the Modena Apennines all appear before you.

lago di pratignana fananoWhat to see

Looking very carefully, an expert eye can spot the carnivorous plant Drosera Rotundifolia. During the summer the plant attracts insects of all sizes, and then traps them in its coils. In spring and autumn, numerous bird species can be observed, resting during their long migration south.

Around the lake, the wide grassland that stretches over the plateau is extremely picturesque, and is an ideal place for walking. At its edge stands a gigantic, centuries-old beech tree which seems to exude magic.

Magic is also to be found on the Bolognese side of the lake, where there is a small inlet in the rock face, called the “Grotta delle fate” (The Fairies’ Cave). Legend has it that three evil fairies live inside the cave, luring travellers into the lake on foggy days and then drowning them.

As spectacular as it is dangerous, the “Becco dell’Aquila” – or Eagle’s Beak – is a large, rocky spur which overlooks the lake; it affords fine views over the Dardagna valley but is not recommended if you suffer from vertigo!

Getting there

The best way to get to the lake is on foot, following one of the itineraries that lead there.

On our website you can find information on how to get there, starting out directly from Fanano or from Ca’ del Vento.

The Legend of the Fairies’ Cave

Along the Monti della Riva mountain ridge, just below the Eagle’s Beak, there is a cave: the Fairies’ Cave.

It is said that these imaginary creatures come out of their lair and dance on the lake, causing a thick fog to envelop them and the lake.

The fairies appear through a curtain of mist, bewitching the unsuspecting human and luring them, dancing, towards the waters. “And the living creature glides dancing into the lake, sinking into it”.

Legend has it that a young shepherdess was once leading her oxen to graze in the clearings around the lake, when she was caught in a storm. Frightened, she tried to turn back, but when she reached the edge of the mountain, she found herself trapped in a dense fog. Fairies appeared through the fog, and the little girl trusted them, following them to the cold waters of the lake, into which she slowly slipped.

The necklace which the young girl was wearing is said to have been found in the waters of the nearby Pian Fontana spring.