|View of out over Lake Trasimeno|
By the way, Lake Trasimeno is not only a destination for the views, cool breezes and enjoyable villages, it's also of significance to history buffs. During the Second Punic War, the Battle of Lake Trasimeno (Trasimene) took place here on the 21st of June, 217 BC (April in the Julian calendar). Hannibal's Carthaginians defeated the Romans led by the consul Gaius Flaminius in one of the largest and most successful ambushes in military history. In less than four hours, the Roman army was annihilated. When you visit the battle site near Passignano, take a good guide book to help conjure up the past!
Back to the present. Of the towns on or near the lake, my favorites are Castiglione del Lago and Panicale.
|Castiglione del Lago and Lake Trasimeno|
On the slopes of the surrounding hills, not far away from Castglione del Lago, are Panicale and its neighbour, Paciano. Panicale is a well-known Umbrian destination while Paciano is described by the guide books as "without interest". I beg to disagree! Both Panicale and Paciano are well worth a visit, the latter not least for its over-the-top 14th Century Chiesa della Concezione e di S. Giuseppe. Inside the gates of Panicale, two or three concentric streets spiral in to the Piazza Grande. Although documented as early as 907, Panicale in its current forms dates from the 15th Century when it came under the sway of Pope Martin V. The best starting point for visiting Panicale is the Church of Saint Sebastian which houses Perugino's very beautiful fresco of Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. This fresco takes up the entire rear wall of the Church. The landscape with lake in the background of the painting is the same as that visible from outside the church and is very similar to the background of Perugino's Adoration in Città della Pieve not far away to the southwest. Panicale is also home to the charming Teatro Caporali, dating from 1690 and one of the smallest theatres in Italy.
|View over Panicale towards Lake Trasimeno|
There are numerous restaurants and trattorie dotted through the little lakeside towns. Among them are some real gems and, in general, value for money is better than one might anticipate in such a popular area.
The nearest part of Lake Trasimeno is about 25 minutes by car from Borgo di Vagli.
Fulvio Di Rosa
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