Two thousand years of history and art encircling a lake.
Administratively, the Trasimeno district is part of Umbria, but as concerns geography and culture it is both Umbria and Tuscany. The characteristics of one and the other are to be found here. It is set in an intriguing borderline area between the two regions, undefined in language and landscape, in the flavor of its cuisine, and in its traditions.
It lies right in the center of Italy, at a point which already in ancient times was close to the routes leading from the center and from Northern Europe to Rome. A point easily reached and yet secluded. Thus, a very special sort of destination. Not a crowded transit point. Instead, a “wild strawberry” kind of place, which some come across by pure chance, only to become very jealous “regulars”.
We, however, would recommend the comfortable routes, rather than haphazard ones. From the north, take the Autostrada del Sole (motorway A-1), turn off either at Valdichiana or Chiusi Chianciano Terme, follow the signposts for just about twenty kilometers and there you are. If you prefer the train, take the Florence–Rome line and get off at Terontola, Chiusi or Castiglione del Lago.
Once settled in one of the eight Trasimeno municipalities (Castiglione del Lago, Citta’ della Pieve, Magione, Paciano, Panicale, Passignano, Piegaro, Tuoro) a series of very pleasant excursions can be planned.
Within a range of about one hundred kilometers, a near 20% of the world’s artistic heritage is at hand: Florence, Perugia, Siena, Arezzo, Assisi, Orvieto, Gubbio, Spoleto, Chiusi, Cortona, Tarquinia … which means that the greater part of Italian Renaissance art, besides a considerable portion of ancient and mediaeval art, are within easy reach.
Moreover, just a couple of hours drive takes you right into the center of Rome. All the roads are good and often panoramic.
You can easily go where ever you want. But may be, the beauty of the lake will keep you there.
Along the various itineraries, the visitor has a chance to admire mediaeval and Renaissance architectural gems, the churches and oratories which house the paintings by Perugino, and also many good works of art, such as the “Madonna Enthroned with Child and Angels” by Angelo di Orvieto (1271), the “Madonna Enthroned” by Eusebio da San Giorgio (1500), the “Adoration of the Magi” (1534) and the “Virgin and Child” (1521) by Domenico Alfani.
Similarly, in Tuoro he will cross the intriguing “Campo del Sole”, where twenty-eight grey sandstone sculptures by famous Italian and foreign artists are set in a spiral pat-tern out in the open, on the shore of the lake, like deities conversing with the heavens and with mortal beings.
Me will find himself in what once was the theatre of one of the most disastrous frays of ancient times, the battle of Lake Trasimeno, in which more than 16.000 Roman soldiers lost their lives, wiped out by Hannibal’s Carthaginian army.
He will pay a visit to the Fishermen’s Museum of S. Feliciano, which houses ancient fishing tackle and documents of their activities.
He will see the Palio of Citta’ della Pieve and, if he happens to be around in Castiglione del Lago when kite fliers from all over the world meet to ply their sport, he will see the skies colored by their kites. Or, if he wants, he appears at the natural terrace of Panicale and will admire the farsighted shot reflexes of the lake surrounded by green and gentle hills.
We believe that now you have more than one good reason to spend a holiday near Lake Trasimeno. We are expecting you! In the meantime, we’re keeping our pots on the boil.
We are preparing fried croutons garnished with truffle or giblets, soups, pastas, traditional fish dishes: spiced roast carp, “tegamaccio” (a local fish-soup), or roast fillets of tench. There are also some recent dishes created by the young cooks to please the modern palate, but they all remain bound to a past culture never to be denied. Salads, dressed in the delicate oil of our hills, are ready; fine D.O.C. wine is in the cellar, waiting to be poured into the goblets for toasting and gaiety