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Lake Trasimeno (ital. Lago Trasimeno) is in the northwest corner of Umbria in Italy. The lake is a popular tourist destination and there are many camping sites, particularly to the south and west. However, it lacks major tourist attractions.


Trasimeno is the largest lake in the center and south of Italy, with a surface area of 128 km². No major river flows directly into or out of the lake and the water level fluctuates significantly according to rainfall levels but is at all times fairly shallow. It has been known to freeze over.

The Palazzo Ducale at Castiglione


  • Passignano sul Trasimeno is still circled by its medieval walls. However, the town was damaged in the Second World War and there is little else to see. The main reason for visiting is to catch a ferry to the islands in the lake.
  • Castiglione del Lago. is on the southwest corner of Lake Trasimeno. It used to be the fourth island of Lake Trasimeno but over the years the gap between the island and the shore has been filled in. The historical center is well preserved and provides good views of the lake. The original fortifications of the town were destroyed and rebuilt on numerous occasions. The Castello del Leone ("Fortress of the Lion") is a pentagonal-shaped castle that was completed in 1247. It was designed to give its owners strategic control over all of Lake Trasimeno. The castle has withstood a number of sieges. The Palazzo del Comune (Town Hall) was built in Renaissance style. It is now a civic museum and gallery.
  • Magione. This fairly large town (pop. 14,000) lies to the east of the lake on the road to Perugia. There is little for tourists. The Church of San Giovanni Battista (St. John the Baptist) was built by the Knights of Malta in 1571 and destroyed during the Second World War. It was rebuilt immediately after the war and has some interesting modern frescoes.
  • Paciano. The first record of Paciano is from the 10th C. In the 12th C. Paciano was relocated a short way down Monte Pausillo after an earthquake levelled most of the original village. Only one tower (privately owned) of the original town still stands. The current historic village is still enclosed within its original walls. With a population of under 1000 it's a quiet village with few businesses. There is a museum featuring implements and stories of the various trades that have been carried out in the village over the centuries. There are also two small hotels, two restaurants and a bar within the historic centre. As it has been since the beginning, Paciano is mainly and agricultural town surrounded by olive groves.
  • Panicale. While Panicale has probably been inhabited since Etruscan times, it was a medieval castle built on the peak of the hill that formed the city into what you see today. The town's narrow roads form ovals around the Piazza Podesta at the hill's peak. In the Chiesa of S. Sebastiano there is a fresco by Il Perugino. In the church of S.Agostino there is a small Museum of Embroidered Lace.
  • Tuoro sul Trasimeno. This small town is built on the site which in 217 BC witnessed one of the most disastrous battles of Roman times, when more than 16,000 Roman soldiers were killed by Hannibal's army. Not far from the town is the Pieve di Confine, a romanesque building of the early 12th century. Also nearby is the castle of Monte Gualandro.
  • Vernazzano. A small village just to the north of the lake and the highway to Perugia. Mainly known for its "leaning tower", which leans more than that of Pisa ever did. This was built before 1089 as part of a castle. The castle and the surrounding settlement were damaged by wars in 1400s and two century later, by a strong earthquake. Erosion of the foundations by fast-running streams caused the tower to lean in the eighteenth century. It has been abandoned for almost 300 years. To avoid the tower’s collapse it is held up by steel wires.

Get in[edit]

On the A1 Autostrada that connects Rome and Florence, exit at Chiusi coming from the south and Val di Chiana when coming from the north. From Val di Chiana take the SS73 in the direction of Perugia. Leaving at Chiusi you have to pass through the town of Chiusi before following signs to Trasimeno on the SS71.

There is a railway line from Perugia to Terontola-Cortona, that passes to the north of the lake with stations at Magione, Torricella, Passignano and Tuoro sul Trasimeno. At Terontola this line connects with the main line between Rome and Florence. The main train line running between Florence and Rome stops at the lake side town of Castiglione del Lago.

Get around[edit]

Ferries operate to the islands and across the lake, particularly in the tourist season. Obtaining reliable information about schedules in advance is difficult. The main base for the ferries is Passignano. You can also catch the ferry for Isola Maggiore at Casiglione del Lago although it runs less frequently than the one from Passignano del Lago. The only ferry to and from Isola Polvese operates out of San Feliciano on the east side of the lake. There is also year around bus service around the lake which runs more frequently during the summer. In addition there is now a bicycle path that circumnavigates the entire lake.


  • Isola Maggiore is the second largest island on the lake and is the only inhabited one with a population of around 35 although in days gone by there were many more inhabitants. St Francis of Assisi lived on the island as a hermit from 1211. The 12th century Church of Saint Michael the Archangel on the top of the hill and the Romanesque church of S. Salvatore are both worth a visit. Some of the olive trees on the island are hundreds of years old. Visitors can explore the old town and hill; paths cross the
  • Isola Polvese is the largest of the lake’s three islands, with around 69.6 ha. It is connected with the shore at San Feliciano, 5 km south of Magione on the east of the lake, by daily boats between 09:00 and 19:00 sailing every 40 minutes approx. The island is now used as a scientific park, with research and educational activities. A study center is planned to be developed on the site of a ruined monastery. The medieval fortress dates back to the 13th century. The Garden of the Aquatic Plants was developed in 1995 in a former swimming pool that was entirely excavated in the rock.


  • Play Golf. There is a nine-hole golf course close to Panicarola, just south of the lake. It was established by Ferruccio Lamborghini, designer of the Lamborghini cars. Loc. Soderi 1, Panicale (PG) 06064 Italia, tel/fax 075/837582.[1] [dead link]
  • Skydiving. Also south of the lake is a parachuting school, with its own 900-m airstrip. (Skydive Trasimeno +39 075 835006).
  • Swim. There are quite a few places where you can access the lake for a dip. As the water is very shallow you often have to go a long way out for a swim.




  • Agriturismo Relais Parco Fiorito - Località Piazzano 33 - 06069 - Tel +39 075 825340 - Fax +39 075 8258105. €100-200 for a double.[2]
  • [dead link] Hotel Residence Ali sul Lago. Lungo Lago nord - San Feliciano Magione 06060 PG. Hotel on the lake, 60 m from where the ferries leave for Polvese island and 250 m from the central square of S. Feliciano.
  • Agriturismo Lamborghini[dead link] is next to the golf course (see above). Loc. Soderi, 1 Panicale (PG) 06064 Italia Tel. +39 075 8350029. When Ferrucio Lamborghini sold his car business he invested in a large area of land just south of the lake, planted grapes and built this small agriturismo. Apartments are available on a weekly basis, from €400-800 per apartment per week.
  • Fattoria il Poggio - Parco Naturale Isola Polvese 06060 Castiglione del Lago (Pg). Tel 075.9659550 Cell 347.9000970. On the Polvese island, this offers hotel and hostel accommodation.
  • Agriturismo Le Quattro Stagioni - Via Marchetti, 58 - 06061 Loc. Piana, Castiglione Del Lago (PG). Farm, nursery, and wildlife. Swimming pool and garden equipped with games for children. Direct sales of oil, wine and fruit and vegetables. Tel: 075951919 - 3338280114 - 3487488503 - email: - [3] [dead link].
  • Tiravento - Vacation Rental farmhouse, +39 3356002793, fax: +39 0270033321, . Strada Vicinale Passalmonte - 06065 Passignano sul Trasimeno (PG). - Unique position on the hill with amazing views of the lake. Accommodates a maximum of 16 guests. The house is from 1864 and was renovated with love and combines tradition with modern comfort.
  • Tartagli Alti, Voc. Tartagli Alti, Paciano (a 10 minute walk from the village), +39 055 9702225, . A 4-bedroom villa with wifi and private pool accommodating up to 7 guests. Bookings are normally Saturday to Saturday though shorter periods considered. Fine views of the Tresa valley from the covered dining terrace.

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

Lake Trasimeno is a short drive from two fascinating cities, Cortona and Perugia.

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