Like most of Abruzzo’s lakes, the Bomba is an artificial basin. Not that this makes it any less charming, immersed in its valley surrounded by tall peaks and tiny, striking hamlets. The lake is in the mid river Sangro valley and was created by damming of that river near the unusually-named town of Bomba. The basin is closed off valleywards by a compact clay dam and stretches upstream for about seven kilometres, as far as Pietraferrazzana, almost lapping the outskirts of Villa Santa Maria. Lake Sangro offers a range of interesting options for fun and relaxation, thanks to a high number of accommodation facilities (campsites and hotel), not only along the lake but also in the neighbouring area. It is also a great location for mountain-biking or walks along its shores, perhaps renting a boat. The surrounding area offers some picturesque and interesting towns. On the southern slope, first there is Bomba, an ancient centre gripping the western side of Mount Pallano (on whose peak there is an important archaeological site with marvellous megalithic walls, easy to reach and to visit); Colledimezzo, a lovely village that hugs the Castellano hill, in a panoramic position, dominating the lake beneath; Pietraferrazzana, an even lovelier huddle of houses gathered under a breathtaking cliff, in a panoramic setting; lastly,Villa Santa Maria, squeezed up at the foot of the massive rock spur that dominates the “town of the cooks”, famous worldwide as the Alma Mater of great chefs. From a steep crest on the northern slope the valley and lake are dominated by the ghost village of Buonanotte (“good night” in Italian, changed from its ancient name of Malanotte, meaning “night of evil”, but nonetheless the victim of a landslide that forced its population to flee their homes, which were rebuilt nearby on more solid ground, with the new name of Montebello sul Sangro); then there is Pennadomo, which is set in enchanting countryside, clinging to the base of an impressive dark rock tower, overlooking the valley and with the lake in the background.