Riserva Naturale

Lago Sfondato

Informations and Services

The visit

It is possible to visit the protected area only accompanied by the staff of the Nature Reserve or by guides authorized by the managing body. Reservation must be made contacting the following numbers: 093 4564038; 329 8620594; or email at lagosfondato@legambienteriserve.it.
During the holidays guided tours must be booked at least one week in advance.

The lake can be reached only on foot along a path, about 2.5 km long, that develops on natural ground in part with steep slopes that, because of the vegetation, outcropping rocks, pebbles and mud ( especially in the rainy season), may be, at times, rough and slippery.

Visitors are required to wear proper footwear for hiking (such as trekking shoes, or well-fitting shoes with non-slip soles) and comfortable clothing suitable for the weather conditions. Furthermore, during summer it is strongly recommended to wear a hat and carry a bottle of water with you, because inside the Nature Reserve there is no shade nor fresh water fountains.

The whole visit requires about 2 hours.


Information and warnings

Before visiting the protected area, it is necessary to know that outdoors activities generally present some kind of danger that cannot be completely avoided, due to the uneven surface of the paths, the presence of insects, wild animals, stinging or allergenic plants, etc. Thus, while being in a natural environment, visitors must be aware and accept the fact that there are risks that can not be avoided.

In particular, the path that leads through the Sfondato Lake Nature Reserve is not free from risks due to the specific characteristics of the site: slippery and rough walking surface because of the vegetation, stones, pebbles and mud; presence of insects, local fauna and stinging or allergenic plants; considerably sloping stretches of the path or the nearness to steep drops.

The access to the Reserve is allowed only on foot.

Inside the Nature Reserve there is no first aid point, drinking water, refreshment points and facilities.

Because of the characteristics of the site, the access to the Nature Reserve is not recommended to those with walking disabilities and/or balance disorders, heart and/or respiratory issues.

Before starting the guided tour, the visitor is requested to sign an informed consent form, provided by the staff of the Reserve, to accept the risks linked to the activities in a natural environment.

During the visit, children must always be accompanied by an adult visitor to whom they are entrusted.

The Managing Body is not responsible for any kind of damage, to things or people, that may occur along the path due to irresponsible or negligent behavior of the visitor and/or as a result of unpredictable natural events.


Use regulation

Visitors are requested to follow the use regulations to better enjoy and appreciate the visit of the protected area:

• Wear clothing suitable for the season and place:
◦ long trousers, sun hat, rain/windproof jacket;
◦ well-fitting and comfortable shoes with non-slip soles (flip-flops, high and wedge heels or similar can cause sprains and/or falls).
• Follow the trails marked out by the Managing Body and respect the directions on the information/monitoring signs and the instructions provided by the staff and by the authorized guides of the protected area.
• Do not touch and/or collect any kind of plant: it may contain toxic or stinging substances.
• Do not lean on fences or walk beyond them.
• Stay away from sheer rock walls and steep slopes.
• Stay away from the lake shores.
• In case of bad weather (thunderstorms, strong winds, heatwave, etc.) do not cross streams, stand under trees, etc.; don’t go on excursions in case of fire risk.
• Pay the utmost attention and be extremely prudent, behave properly in order to not put at risk your own or others safety, and don’t act contrary to public order and/or morality.
• During the visit stay close to each other and don’t walk away from your group.

The Staff or the authorized Guide may decide to interrupt or cancel the excursion and/or ban from the group a visitor that will be considered responsible for not respecting the above mentioned rules.

Rules and regulation

Following are the main points of the use regulation. It is a list of behavioral rules to be held during the visit of the Reserve, aimed at protecting and preserving the natural environment:
Inside the Lago Sfondato Nature Reserve it is forbidden to:

• destroy, damage and remove plants of any kind or parts of them;
• disturb the vertebrate and invertebrate fauna, capture specimens, destroy burrows and beds, take nests or eggs;
• introduce pets even on a leash;
• practice sports that may damage the environmental integrity and the peacefulness of the places;
• introduce music devices;
• introduce any kind of weapon;
• take away or damage rocks, minerals and finds of any kind;
• leave waste behind;
• smoke;
• light fires;
• walk off the paths marked out by the managing body;
• camp and bivouac. 

Didactic programs

The Nature Reserve promotes various environmental and naturalistic training activities for school-children. Such activities are mainly carried out in the schools, both in the classrooms and outdoors as well as during the guided tour inside the Nature Reserve.
The environmental didactic projects and activities include:

  • Let’s know the area of the Reserve.
  • Vegetable garden and beyond.
  • An Island within the Island.
  • Discovering the wild plants growing in the city.
  • The Game of the Ecological Network.
  • Nature crossword puzzles.

How to get there

The Reserve is about 19 km from Caltanissetta; 17.5 km from San Cataldo and 8 km from Marianopoli.

From Caltanissetta: take via Pietro Leone (SP 128) for about 1 km; then continue along the SP 155 for about 2.5 km, turn right on the the SP 44, in the direction of Marianopoli. After about 7 km, the road joins the SP 42 San Cataldo/Marianopoli road. The access to the reserve is at the km 17.4, from where a small dirt road, passable only on foot, leads to the entrance after a 2.5 km walk.

From Agrigento: exit the SS 640 at the San Cataldo Scalo junction. Follow the beltway entering the town along Corso Umberto. At the end of the road, on the SP 42 follow the directions for Marianopoli to the km 17.4.

Riserva Naturale Lago Sfondato

Further information

For further information please contact the Nature Reserve by calling mornings Monday through Saturday the 093 4564038 or 329 8620594, or by sending an email to: lagosfondato@legambienteriserve.it

Skip to content