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Lake Trasimeno – Umbria’s water playground

  • Lake Trasimeno – Umbria’s water playground

    Lake Trasimeno is where Umbria spills over into Tuscany. Lago di Trasimeno happens to be Italy's fourth-largest lake (128-sq-km in size) but remains off the well-beaten tourist trail. The restful scenery and the languid pace of life are the main draws for adventurous visitors. The sense of eternal peace is deceptive. At Tuoro sul Trasimeno Hannibal’s Carthaginian troops destroyed a 16,000-strong Roman army in 217 BC. Even in these small fishing villages, the lake's fortifications attest to its strategic location and turbulent past.

    Expect sunflower fields, shimmering vineyards, silvery olive groves, oak woods and billowing cypresses. Views are framed by castellated medieval towns, such as Castiglione del Lago and Passignano, which are draped along its shores. Castiglione del Lago, strung out along a charming promontory, is the lake’s engagingly touristy capital, offering splendid views from the ramparts of the 14th-century castle. Founded by the Etruscans, this fortified village is also a foodie hotspot. Come for the lake fish, including tench, perch, whitebait and eels, or drink in the Colli di Trasimeno wines.

    This Umbria’s summer playground, with countless opportunities for tennis, riding, swimming, sailing, boat trips and wine-tasting. Apart from lakeside pursuits, you can visit a trio of islands on the lake. You might well be tempted into the saddle. The cycle route around the lake is a classic ride, with the chance to explore Castiglione del Lago, Passignano and Sant’Arcangelo. This foodie-minded lake also provides ample opportunities for wine and olive oil tasting en route. The Passignano stretch offers views of meadows and woodland from the crest of a hill. The shortest, most appealing stretch of the cycle route hugs the shore between Castiglione and Tuoro.

    Web: www.umbriatourism.it

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