Lake Santa Caterina (also known as Lake Auronzo) is located in the municipality of Auronzo di Cadore (830m asl), in the province of Belluno (Veneto). Its extension is 0,49kmq and is both navigable (canoes, rowing boats and pedal boats) and bathing.
Lake Santa Caterina or Auronzo is an artificial lake dating back to the first half of the last century. The works to build a dam that blocked the Ansiei River began in 1930 and ended in 1932, to allow the channeling of the water in order to power the hydroelectric plant downstream. The dam, 55 meters high, was given in concession to the companies of the time which were then acquired by Enel in the 60s. The lake finally took the name of Santa Caterina thanks to the presence of a chapel dating back to 1500 located near the dam, dedicated to the saint.
Reaching Lake Santa Caterina by car is very simple: it runs along the entire inhabited area of Auronzo di Cadore, an idyllic Dolomite town destination for summer and winter vacationers, located at the lower edge of the Tre Cime Natural Park, on the road that first leads to Misurina and then a Cortina d'Ampezzo.
The construction of the dam gave Auronzo di Cadore a remarkable development from the tourist point of view. Today there is an equipped beach equipped with every comfort and service, very popular in summer, moreover the town is home to important competitions in water sports such as motor boating (the Grand Prix Motonautico del Cadore is held here) and boating.
Lovers of mountain walks will certainly appreciate the numerous pedestrian and cycle paths that allow you to observe Lake Santa Caterina from every angle, and to admire the high Dolomite peaks that surround it, among which the indistinguishable profile of the Three peaks of Lavaredo, in addition to Cadini, Croda dei Toni and Corno del Doge, a peak that saw a bitter battle fought on its ridges during the First World War.
Auronzo di Cadore and its lake are finally the base for numerous high mountain excursions, to discover the dolomites of Belluno that reserve magical views such as the one leading to the old mines of Blenda (lasting about 5 hours), the one towards the summit of Monte Agudo (lasting 6 hours) or the one towards the Plains of Namòs (lasting 2 hours and a half).
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