Located on the Tuscan/Umbria border in the green heart of central Italy is the 4th largest island in Italy, the beautiful Lake Trasimeno. This peaceful destination is ideal for foreigners who are looking for beautiful landscapes but finding nearby Tuscany to crowded with their own kind. Surrounded by the excellent art cities of Florence and Rome, in addition to being a great location for exploring nearby Siena, Arezzo, Perugia, Assisi, Orvieto and Gubbio, all cities enormously rich in history and culture.
Eight towns surround the Lake itself, some on panoramic hilltops - like Città della Pieve, Paciano, Panicale and Piegaro - and others right on the shore - Castiglione del Lago, Magione, Passignano sul Trasimeno and Tuoro sul Trasimeno.
Food and wine
Fish is the obvious specility, along with local oils from the surrounding hills. The local delicassy is rice in a white sauce made with perch fillets and eel. The festival of fish in September attracts many tourists as the largest frying pan in the world is used to fry up to 2 tons of fish per hour. Olive oil is one of the region's finest and oldest local products with vast groves scattered on the hillsides.
Wine grapes have been cultivated in the hills of Trasimeno since the days of the Etruscans due to the mild climate and hours of sunlight. The region is well known for its Gamay del Trasimeno of the Grenache family, a 'black' grape that makes a garnet coloured wine and the Grechetto a 'white' grape that makes a yellow/green fruity wine.
What do to
Being a national park there is plenty of trekking and cycling trails to choose from. A circumnavigation of the Lake is suggested, choosing a starting point and exploring the entirity of the Lake and it's views. We recommend beginninng from Castiglione del Lago or Passignano.
For a day of pure relaxation we recommend a tour of the islands by ferry. Leaving the car in San Feliciano and catch the early morning ferry to Isola Polvese, then onto San Feliciano, back to Passignano or Tuoro where you can catch the ferry to Isola Maggiore.
Another highlight of the region is it's castles, Rocca del Leone in Castiglione del Lago, Torre dei Lambardi in Magione and the ruins of Castello di Zocco. Start the route in Castiglione del Lago with a visit to Palazzo della Corgna and the Rocca del Leone. The ticket is the same for both structures and the visit lasts from 2-3 hours, then take the car and drive to San Feliciano & Passignano where you will find Torre di San Savino, Rocca Bagliona.
The lake is not only for those looking to relax as it has great facilities for the sport enthusiasts, with kite surfing, sailing, canoeing, wind surfing, motor boating and water skiing aplenty. There are "open lake" days when you have the chance to try out a wide range of watersports. For horse lovers, there is the opportunity to ride on horse back to the numerous medival castles and villages surrounding the Lake.
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