Lake Santa Croce is the largest lake in the province of Belluno and the second largest in the Veneto region and originates from a landslide that closed the Lapisina Valley, blocking the descent of the Piave River toward Vittorio Veneto and creating the Sella del Fadalto. Due to the effect of air currents passing through the narrow Fadalto area increasing their speed, it is one of the windiest places in the entire province of Belluno. It is precisely because of this peculiarity that it is loved by windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing enthusiasts.
Throughout the year, but particularly in the warm season, one can admire from the beach along the shores of the lake large and colorful sails furrowing the blue waters of this body of water at the foot of the Alpago Basin surrounded by mountains and forests, which annually attracts, from all over Europe, lovers of these sports that combine water and wind with strong adrenaline rushes. Lake Santa Croce also hosts a number of regattas and gives even the youngest people a chance to try these adventurous sports.
Lake Santa Croce hosts on its shores the Sbarai Oasis, which covers more than 30 hectares in the municipality of Farra d’Alpago and is one of the main nature sites in the province of Belluno. It is a vast wetland area with a number of different environments related to changes in water levels in the lake.
This is an ideal wintering habitat for many species of birds such as the Little Grebe, Lapwing, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Penduline Warbler, and even the Grey Heron, White Stork and Long-tailed Warbler. The oasis is easily reached by walking along a level path, where you can admire, among others, splendid specimens of white willow trees of monumental size and where you can walk comfortably while also practicing birdwatching.
Also within the Bay of Sirens, in the locality of Santa Croce along the southern side of the lake, the Experimental Ichthyogenic Center of Farra d’Alpago has been created with the intention of upgrading the area and boosting the basin’s fish production of the most characteristic and valuable species – whitefish, pike and trout – at risk of extinction. Added to this is a more didactic and educational purpose, aimed particularly at schools, inherent in the dissemination of activities related to the lake and its natural habitat.
The new structure built is perfectly inserted in the environment and is a magnificent and panoramic location to admire the beauty of the Lake of Santa Croce and the entire Alpago Basin; the Center is spread over two floors and was built in wood and concrete with the inclusion of large windows that directly overlook the body of water.