Umbria is one of Italy’s smallest regions and the only peninsular region that is completely landlocked. It may be landlocked, but Umbria is home to Italy’s largest non-alpine lake: Lago Trasimeno. Lake Trasimeno existed even in prehistoric times and has a long history; Hannibal even defeated the Romans there in 217 BC. Fast forward thousands of years and we found ourselves stopping in Passignano Sul Trasimeno on a winter day.
Lake Trasimeno comes alive in the summer months from May to September with a variety of festivals and fairs. But a visit in winter is worth a stop when traveling through central Italy. Passignano Sul Trasimeno feels almost deserted except for a few local fisherman throwing their lines into the lake.
On a hunt for the delicious Trasimeno Gemay we had had with dinner the night before at Castello di Petroia, we wandered the cobbled streets, popping into the various shops. We found a wonderful little shop selling Umbrian specialties such as pappardelle pasta, Umbria’s famed truffles, wild boar salami, and Umbrian wines. Nearby, we stumbled across Passignano Sul Trasimeno’s pottery shops with prices just as good as the famed factory town of Nove and I picked up a hand-painted serving utensils set almost a perfect match to our other Tuscan poppy pieces.
Satisfied with our purchases, we wandered up toward Passignano Sul Trasimeno’s Rocca Castle. The narrow cobbled calles were deserted except for the occasional cat. Completely silent except for the clack of my boots on the cobbles; the barking of a dog from the terraced houses announcing our arrival as we spiraled up.
The sun was just beginning to set on Lake Trasimeno and we got a few panoramas from our vantage point above Passignano Sul Trasimeno. Unfortunately, Rocca Castle is closed in November and December so we couldn’t watch the sunset from its terrace. We hurried back down to the lake.
The sun set the sky ablaze in a sea of reds and oranges. the tower of the ruined Guglielmi Castle on Isola Maggiore a black outline against the fire in the sky. We sat in a wash of pink on a bench on the lakeside promenade until the last bit of the fiery ball sank below the mountains.
Know Before You Go
- Rocca Castle is open April, May, and October from 10:30am – 12:30pm and 3:30pm – 6:30pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays; and June 1 – September 30 Tuesday through Sunday from 10am – 12:30pm and 3:30pm – 7pm. Tickets are €2 and children under 10 are free.
- Passignano Sul Trasimeno is located 30 kilometers from Perugia and 55 kilometers from Castello di Petroia
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