Free enamel pin when you buy any two Atlas Obscura products. Shop now.

Italy

Carezza Rainbow Lake

According to the local folklore, the myriad colors of this lake are the result of a a lovelorn wizard's blunder. 

Gorgeous mountain lakes may be a dime a dozen, but how many can boast brilliant waters whose colors are the result of a lovesick sorcerer and drowned rainbows?

According to the traditions of the Ladin people in Italy’s South Tyrol region, once upon a time, a beautiful water nymph called the pristine waters of Lake Carezza, at the foot of the Dolomites, home. One day, while braiding her hair on its shores, the sorcerer Masaré was overcome by the sound of the nymph as she softly sang to herself. Head over heels in love, he sought the help of a witch to make the nymph his own. An elaborate plan involving a disguise as a jewelry salesman, and casting a rainbow across the lake ensued.

Unfortunately for the sorcerer, he forgot to wear his jewelry salesman outfit and was discovered by the nymph even as she marvelled at his creation. Evading his trap, she hasn’t been seen since. Completely distraught at his own foolishness, Masaré smashed the rainbow into a million pieces, which fell into the lake’s waters below.

Their fractured magnificence continues to radiate through its crystalline waters to this day, and account for Carezza’s other name: Lec de ergobando, or “Rainbow Lake.”  

Know Before You Go

To get to the lake head south on the main N241 and the lake is on your left.