This is the second part of the story of the first press-tour I joined, which took place around lake Trasimeno.
Go here to read part 1
Lake Trasimeno > CASTIGLIONE DEL LAGO (PG)
The strategic position of the village, whose three main doors are orientated towards Florence, Siena and Perugia, is also proved by the medieval fortress Rocca del Leone built mirroring the Leo constellation, a mystical symbol of perfection (hence the name!). We visited the fortress and we had a wonderful panoramic walk along its ancient walls, which has definitely been one of my favorite moments during this trip. The view, up there, is breath-taking: you can admire the lake with its islands on one side and Tuscany with its hills on the other side.
The fortress is connected to a beautiful renaissance Palace (Palazzo della Corgna, built in the mid-1500s) with frescoes depicting the feats of Ascanio della Corgna, who used to live there.
Lake Trasimeno > MONTE DEL LAGO (PG)
Here we also visited Palombaro, a wine and olive oil producer with a wonderful terrace overlooking the lake and some ancient pots from the 1400s with beautiful low reliefs on their surface.
Lake Trasimeno > ISOLA MAGGIORE
Our last day on the beautiful Lake Trasimeno begun with a nice talk with instructors and enthusiasts at the Trasimeno SUP (Stand Up Paddle) School, who introduced us to this new water sport. We were supposed to try it, but the weather was pretty bad and so I promised to myself that I will come back to try it on warmer day, maybe at the sunset…
After this introduction to SUP, we took a ferry to Isola Maggiore, the second largest island of Lake Trasimeno and the only one that is inhabited (well…to the tune of 17 inhabitants!).
The island still preserves the unique atmosphere of a 15th century fishing village and it is proud to be the place where Saint Francis of Assisi came to pray and relax in 1211.
There is only one cobbled street (via Guglielmi, named after the family which bought the island) plus several paths leading to the cemetery (which is small, but still it makes clear that there are more dead people than alive people on the island! :) ), to the lovely frescoed church of San Michele Archangelo and to an abandoned castle (Guglielmi castle).
We lunched at Sauro’s, a restaurant owned by an old fisherman who is still going to the lake every morning to catch delicious lake fish for his guests.
The lunch was exceptional, the best meal of the whole weekend (I especially loved the pasta with smoked tench!), but the best moment of the lunch was when Sauro gathered us to tell the story of the 27 Jews who, during WW2, were first secluded at Guglielmi castle and then set free by Don Ottavio, the local priest, and some brave fishermen.
Lake Trasimeno > CITTA’ DELLA PIEVE (PG)
But I stayed longer :-) and headed to Città della Pieve.
Unfortunatly at that time it was raining pretty hard and we were also rushing around because our train was leaving in one hour but -still- I really enjoyed this village (in Italian “città” means town, but Città della Pieve still looks pretty villagish to me…) characterized by red bricks, which have been the fortune of Città della Pieve bourgeoisie during the past centuries and still determine its medieval, charming atmosphere.
But to enjoy its medieval atmosphere at its best you should visit Città della Pieve in August, when the three medieval quarters of Città della Pieve face each other at the popular “Palio dei Terzieri”.
|“The Magi Adoration” – Il Perugino|
At Città della Pieve there is also one of the narrowest streets in Italy, vicolo Baciadonne (kissing women street) and at the end of this ultra-narrow alley there is a wide view over the Chiana Romana and Mount Cetona, which I found especially romantic with all the fog of that day!
And so, this was the journal from my very first press-tour. I really enjoyed the experience and I was extremely fascinated by the area we explored. As I wrote last time, Lake Trasimeno is less than two hours from Rome, which makes it the perfect day-trip destination! Moreover, there are no tourists around, the beautiful countryside is still pretty wild and all around the lake you can explore several medieval villages.
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