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Exploring Trasimeno

From Castiglione del Lago to Solomeo, ancient lakeside villages unaltered by the passage of time.

Exploring Trasimeno

The tranquility of the lake, the quiet of the Umbrian countryside, and the beauty of the medieval villages dotted along the lake shores. Lake Trasimeno and the towns which overlook it have, for centuries, been a major tourist attraction, much loved by nature lovers, bird watchers, and gourmands keen to savor the excellent Umbrian cuisine for which the area's hotels and farm-stays are famous.

This trip around Trasimeno commences in Castiglione del Lago, a town built on a peninsula of limestone rock which projects into the lake. Included in the list of Italy's most beautiful small towns, Castiglione del Lago's medieval aspect dates back to the times of Frederick II of Swabia, who built his Rocca del Leone here. The 13th century fortress is now used as an amphitheater, where a series of high profile summer concerts are staged. Like its castle, the town's Palazzo della Corgna, is well worth visiting. This sumptuous edifice, which once belonged to one of the area's most powerful noble families, contains fabulous frescoes in the late mannerist style, depicting both mythological figures and the adventures of the Knight Asciano della Corgna.

From Castiglione del Lago, we head to Tuoro sul Trasimeno, site of the legendary battle fought in 217 B.C. between the Roman army and the Carthaginian troops led by Hannibal. Located on the banks of Tuoro's Punta Navaccia, the Campo del Sole is a sculpture garden, realized in the latter half of the 1980s by the artist Piero Cascella, which features 27 sculpted columns spiraling around a central table surmounted by a solar symbol.

Passignano is Trasimeno's main bathing resort. The town's "Vittoria Aganoor Pompilj" lakeside promenade, named after the Armenian poet who dedicated numerous verses to the beauty of the Trasimeno, is the focus of Passignano's tourist activities. From the small harbor, ferries head out across the water to the lake's three islands. The Isola Maggiore, inhabited largely by fishermen and their families, still conserves the peaceful atmosphere which led St Francis in 1211 to choose the island as religious retreat for the duration of Lent. Isola Polvese is a birdwatcher's paradise where, each year, herons, stalks, wild swans and cormorants come to nest. Nature lovers will not want to miss the island's Garden of Water Plants, with its fabulous display of both indigenous and imported species.

Back on dry land, as we approach Magione, we are greeted by the imposing Castle of the Knights of Malta. Once the refuge of pilgrims traveling along the Via Francigena towards Rome, the edifice acquired its present appearance when it was fortified between the 14th and 15th century. Our trip around the lake concludes in Solomeo, the ideal place for a spot of shopping and a remarkable example of a modern day industrial utopia. This is the realm of Umbria's King of Cashmere, Brunello Cucinelli, the entrepreneur who financed the painstaking restoration of the medieval town in which his company's luxurious woolen wear is manufactured.

Itineraries

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Altri link utili
Umbria (tutti gli hotel)
Castiglione del Lago Hotels