Lake Idro, the smallest of the lakes of Lombardy, squeezed among the mountains is somewhat reminiscent of the Scandinavian fjord. Driving around its perimeter will not work: the road is interrupted, giving way to beaches and meadows.
Lake Idro is located in a strategically important position, on the border between the lands of Venice and Austria, but there are no large cities in the vicinity of Idro, although there were secondary routes of communication where travel taxes were collected.
The fight to drain the swamps on shores of the lake started in 1848. By the joint efforts of the lakeside municipalities, the water level in the lake was lowered through channels that distribute water to the nearest hydroelectric station and to irrigate the fields. In the 20s, a dam was built to regulate the water level, which since 1987 has been the subject of lively discussions between the administration, residents, and the electric company that takes water from the lake for hydroelectric power plants.
Ecology is extremely important here: in the 30s they created special nurseries to preserve the fish population, and in the 70s they came up with protected crossings across the road for toads. In the lake you can fish perch, pike, chub, eel and bleak, that’s why fishing has always been the main source of food here, along with the cultivation of grain, hay, potatoes, chestnuts, and fruits.
The entire coast is suitable for swimming; the water in the lake is smooth in the morning, perfect for canoeing and rowing, and after lunch the wind rises, creating the best conditions for windsurfing and sailing boats. You can join a mini-cruise of the lake on a steamboat.
Walking here is especially pleasant also because there are no mosquitoes around the lake, due to the continuous presence of wind in the daytime and the natural and constant movement of the lake.
As befits an ancient lake, it has its legend: it is believed that in the past there lived a hydra, a kind of a prehistoric snake with seven heads and a scaly tail. You do not believe it? Check out the coat of arms of Idro town!