Green expanses of enchanted woods and pools of water that seem to be taken from a fairy tale. Fantasy? Absolutely not: a reality, told with expert skill by the special hand of nature. The crystalline splendor in Italy is certainly not scarce, whether it is virgin beaches or clear lakes. Some of them, in particular, give ethereal visions, which light up the imagination. This is the case of Lake Carezza, the pearl of Trentino Alto Adige, where the beauty of the place is the background to a curious legend!
Lake Carezza and its spectacular rainbow
Lake Carezza is a small water basin located in the upper Val d’Ega at 1,534 m in the municipality of Nova Levante, in South Tyrol. It has a peculiar natural setting made of fir trees, and is located under the watchful eye of the Latemar massif. Thanks to its changing colors, Lake Carezza is also known as the Lec de Ergobando, or arcoboàn (rainbow lake). The etymology of its name, Carezza, derives instead from the word Caricaceae, the name of the plants that inhabit this lake. The latter, fed by underground sources, has an extension and a depth that change according to the climatic season. Usually in the spring, with the melting snow, you reach the highest water level.
In fact, in spring the lake reaches a length of 287 m and a width of 137 m, while the deepest point is about 17 m. The winter months are different, where the water level reaches a depth of only 6 m. Lake Carezza, therefore, undergoes several changes throughout the year, but this does not scare the many tourists who go there. Despite the cold, several divers explore its polychrome waters, making video footage under the very thick layer of ice. The color games that are created are so suggestive that you can get in touch with the magic of nature. Well, could such a place not attract legends of all sorts on itself?
The spell of the lake: the troubled history of Ondina
The atmosphere and the mysterious appearance of Lake Carezza have fed, over the centuries, many legends full of charm. The most famous is certainly that of the nymph Ondina. It is said that the beautiful fairy creature lived undisturbed the crystalline waters of the lake. With her gentle voice, Ondina enchanted all those who crossed the woods, so that one day she came to the sorcerer who lived on Mount Latemar. The magician fell madly in love with the nymph, and tried in every way to approach her. He even tried to kidnap her, but without success. Taken from despair, he asked for help from the witch who lived in the nearby Mount Catinaccio. He told him to assume the appearance of a seller of jewels and precious stones, and to realize with them a rainbow that went from the Catinaccio to the Latemar.
This would have drawn to the Ondina bank, which was usually very shy. The manifestation of the nymph would have allowed the magician to make it his own. Unfortunately, however, the passion that blinded the sorcerer made him forget the most important point of the plan: the disguise. Undine recognized him instantly, and ran away. At that moment the anger and the pain were so burning that the magician threw the jewels into the lake and destroyed the beautiful rainbow. The colors of the precious stones and the rainbow became an integral part of the lake waters. This is therefore characterized by surprising nuances: red, blue, green, and even golden! The curious story of this broken love is still alive: there is in fact a bronze statue in the lake, depicting the splendid Undine. Once again, nature and folklore can unite in a unique wedding, which makes Lake Carezza a must for beauty lovers!