Wild swimming in natural pools in Italy
Wild swimming in natural pools in Italy
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Dreaming of taking a splash in an emerald green lake? Or cooling off under a sparkling waterfall. Picture yourself in a whirlpool of swirling water, with the enchanting gentle smell of fig trees in the middle of the verdant countryside? Find out at which spots are best for wild swimming and take a detour! To get you started here are 10 locations throughout Italy, but obviously we're constantly discovering new places, bookmark this article for more wild swimming in natural swimming holes.

Map of the best natural bathing pools in Italy

  • 1. Aquafraggia, natural swimming spots in Lombardy

    One day you should visit the magnificent falls during the festival Notte delle Cascate that takes place every year at the foot of the Acquafraggia Falls in Val Bregaglia near Chiavenna. At the same time, you can taste local wine and specialties during a public picnic right near these dramatic waterfalls of over 130 meters high. There is a nice grassy area, ideal for a place to chill while you enjoy your meal. The area also offers unique places to hike in the stunning natural reserve of the Valchiavenna. Those who want to swim or hike go to Piuro, which is fairly easy to reach by car. Since natural swimming spots sometimes originate from glaciers, it will naturally be freezing cold, so to cool off under the waterfall may still be a bit chilly.

    Acquafraggia-watervallen, Strada Comunale di, Via Sarlone, 23020 Piuro SO - http://www.valchiavenna.com/it/itinerari/Cascate-Acquafraggia.html
    wild swimming in Acquafraggia
  • 2. Rio Pitrisconi, wild swimming in Sardinia

    Thanks to Sardinia's geology, this island offers numerous volcanic natural pools, lava-heated springs and gorges and valleys carved out of limestone by the water. This is Italy's second largest island and actually it is better known for its beautiful beaches, but in the northeast among the hills, above San Teodoro, lies the Pitrisconi River, a raging, narrow stream that flows through a ravine where you will find natural swimming spots made of shiny granite. From the highest "infinity" pool you can swim directly to the edge of the waterfall, not to mention with a sweeping view of the sea. The granite rocks gleam in shades of yellow, pink and orange, with the fragrance of juniper berries all around.

    Rio Pitrisconi, Via Aresula, 07052 Buddittogliu Straulas SS 
    wild swimming in Sardinia
  • 3. Mercatello sul Metauro, natural swimming holes in Marche

    The Marche region is always full of surprises. One of the 10 largest waterfalls in Italy, the Cascata del Sasso on the Metauro River is also a favorite spot for fishermen. Just 10 minutes upstream to the west, at the edge of the medieval village of Mercatello sul Metauro, you'll see how the beautiful river runs around a high peak. You'll find small waterfalls and two beautiful wild swimming spots hidden among the rocks. It is the perfect place for a picnic, large trees and small gorges in the rocks offer shade on hot days. Nearby is a nice park with benches and tables and a barbecue.

    Cascate del Sasso, Via Cascata del Sasso, 61048 Sant'Angelo In Vado PU - http://www.lavalledelmetauro.it/contenuti/itinerari/scheda/8655.html
    Wild swimming in Italy, Cascata del Sasso
  • 4. Diborrato waterfall for wild swimming in Colle Val d'Elsa, Tuscany

    The Elsa Trail (Sentier Elsa) is a beautiful, secluded hiking trail along milky blue waters and waterfalls. This beautiful spot is located in the heart of Tuscany, near Siena, in a small village of Colle di Val d'Elsa. After a 2.5-km walk, you will reach the 15-meter-high Diborrato waterfall. The water is nice and cool at the waterfall, so you can relax after a hike on a hot day. The trail starts at the Ponte di Spugna in the village of Colle Val d'Elsa, the path can be challenging here and there for some hikers, as you need to jump from rock to rock in the small river. But it is extremely picturesque, with wooden bridges and small waterfalls, one of the nicest wild swimming spots in Italy.

    Cascata del Diborrato, Località S. Marziale, 53034 Colle di Val D'Elsa SI - https://www.visitcolledivaldelsa.com/parco-fluviale-dellelsa-sentierelsa/
    Wild swimming in Italy in Colle Val d'Elsa
  • 5. Spiaggia Giamaica, wild swimming spots along the shores of Lake Garda

    The region of the Great Lakes and Dolomites with beautiful green valleys is a setting for long sunny walks. Near Sirmione, in front of the Villa di Catullo is Spiaggia Giamaica (Jamaica beach): a large white rocky slab surrounded by wild swimming spots of crystal clear water. Behind it is the famous Villa Grotte di Catullo. When the level of the lake is low enough, you can walk around the lake to the Lido delle Bionde: a beach with a pier, a bar and a lawn shaded by olive trees.

    Spiaggia Giamaica, Scogli delle Grotte di Catullo, Lago di Garda, 00040 Colle di Fuori (near Sirmione, BS) 
    Spiaggia Giamaica near Sirmione
  • 6. Torrente Fer, Piedmont and Val d'Aosta

    It is a wonderful place with natural pools among large, smooth rocks, where the emerald green water of one waterfall feeds the next, near the Cignas forest in the Torrente Fer Park, on the border between Piedmont and Val d'Aosta. It is also an excellent place to go canyoning. A picnic area is not far from the first pools, but you'll understand that it can get very crowded in the summer. To find a quieter spot, it's better to walk to the upper pools.

    Parc Pique Nique Chignas & Amorland Chiringuito, ex via Clapey 172, adesso Località Chignas, 1, 11020 Donnas AO - https://www.amorland.it/area-chignas
    Wild swimming in Italy, Torrente Fer
  • 7. Bidente di Pietrapazza, Emilia Romagna, wild swimming in the National Park 

    Near the village of Santa Sofia is the national park of Monte Falterona. The Pietrapazza River is a branch of the Bidente River and is located near Poggio alla Lastra. For thousands of years, the river has carved out grooves in the large rocky plateaus, creating whirlpools and waterfalls. All along the river you will discover the most beautiful natural pools, bordered by large boulders and rock slabs making them beautiful places to bathe or dive from. If you look upstream, you will see a picturesque scene with small waterfalls splashing on the large boulders below.

    Poggio alla Lastra, 47021 Bagno di Romagna, Forlì-Cesena - http://www.parcoforestecasentinesi.it/
    Wild swimming in Italy, Bidente di Pietrapazza
  • 8. Pozze Smeraldine, Dolomites, Friuli-Venezia Giulia

    The village of Barci offers many natural pools hidden among mountain gorges and pristine nature in this beautiful area. The pearl of the valley does lie a little higher into the mountains. The so-called Pozze Smeraldine is a short walk from the village of Tramonti di Sopra which you can reach by a mountain path. The color of the wild swimming pools justifies the name: emerald ponds. They are located in an isolated but enchanting setting.

    Pozze Smeraldine, 33090 Tramonti di Sopra, Province of Pordenone - https://explorerfvg.com/luoghi/pozze-smeraldine/
    Pozze Smeraldine Wild swimming in Italy
  • 9. Riva del Garda on Lake Garda

    This relaxing area of meadows and beaches offers all kinds of activities for the active tourist. A pleasant break after visiting the tourist town of Riva del Garda. Take some time to explore the picturesque streets or visit the Museo Civico. About 15 minutes east of Riva, along the edge of the lake, is a bridge over the canal with a beautiful beach for diving into the lake. But there are a number of other beaches along the lake that are just as beautiful.

    Spiagga di Torbole, 38069 Torbole Autonomous Province of Trento
    Riva del Garda Wild swimming in Italy
  • 10. Candalla, Tuscany

    The jewel of Candalla is located between the Alps and the Apennines, in northern Tuscany, in the still little visited regions of Lunigiana and Garfagnana. Here the Lombricese torrent, which cascades into waterfalls that form all kinds of natural bathing places, flows among ruins and forests of fig trees. To get there, take the path that starts at the old mill of Candalla and follow the stream through an enchanted valley. There are many idyllic places to stop and take a dip (for example, at the top of the waterfall or in the pool below the mill). The Osteria Candalla is a recommended restaurant with terraces and balconies overlooking the river.

    Candalla waterfalls, Via Candalla Alta, 55041 Camaiore LU 
    Candalla in the Garfagnana
  • 11. Cascata Capelli di Venere, Campania

    In this wild, green area, not far from the spectacular Amalfi Coast, you will find breathtaking gorges between the rocks, with natural freshwater pools, streams and sparkling waterfalls. You can find it by driving east from Morigerati. Head towards the town of Casaletto Spartano. Cascata Capelli di Venere "Venus' Hair" is a waterfall with calm rapids. This is a truly spectacular place for wild swimming, so dive in and cool off in the fast-flowing streams and small waterfalls. Be careful though, as the rocks are often covered with moss, making them quite slippery. From the parking lot, you can also walk down the river to find more natural swimming spots, which are also a little bit bigger. By the way, there are quite a few spots where you can camp as well.

    Cascata Capelli di Venere, Via Nazionale, 84030 Casaletto Spartano SA
    Wild swimming in Italy, waterfall Capelli di Venere

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