The centre of Italy is full of cities of art and breathtaking landscapes. The Trasimeno lake is a key location being so close to such beautiful cities as Perugia, Arezzo and Montepulciano, which have been keeping almost unaltered charm of times gone by and offer traces of various historical ages, from Etruscan tombs to Renaissance artworks.

Perugia
for example is surrounded by two town walls: the oldest ones were built in the Etruscan age, the most recent ones in the Middle Ages. The old mediaeval town with the beautiful Fontana Maggiore is one of the most charming in Italy.
Those who have the sweet tooth can not miss the Perugina Historic Museum, open from July until April (reservation required) and the Eurochocolate festival, which takes place every year in October.

Trekking lovers will enjoy the Marmore Fall very much. It is among the highest and most beautiful in Europe. Not far from the lake it could be the aim of a one-day trip.

A wonderful example of Gothic art is Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francesco and St. Chiara.

Here you can visit the beautiful Basilica of St. Francesco, milestone of the spread of Gothic art in Italy. It is composed of two parts: in the lower one there is the crypt of the saint while the upper walls are decorated with beautiful frescos by Giotto.

Spoleto where Hannibal with his elephants walked through in the II century b. C. has a medieval Tower Bridge, which crosses the whole valley. This town with its magnificent buildings has kept its medieval core.

 

Siena and its famous oval square, Piazza del Campo, are well-known for the horse race which takes place twice a year: the Palio. The wonderful cathedral offers amazing mosaics.

 

Another church which deserves to be visited is Orvieto cathedral with its mosaics on the front. The frescoes inside were painted by such great painters as Luca Signorelli.

 

Cortona is a marvellous near-by town. It is placed on the top of a hill that overlooks the Val di Chiana.

 

In Arezzo you could enjoy the frescoes by Piero della Francesca inside Saint Francesco church. You could also visit Vasari house with his own frescoes. Vasari is famous not only as an excellent artist of the XVI century but also because of his book about his contemporary painters, sculptors and architects such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Perugino, Titian and many others.

By the way there are several nice towns also around the lake.

Passignano has a medieval old town where people still live. It is on the top of a hill and offers a great view of Trasimeno lake. Since traffic is not allowed it is a very quiet place to have a rest after a walk.

The lower part of the town is in front of the lake and it is much more lively.

Monte del Lago is a very small village with narrow streets and lanes connected to each other by small and large stone stairs. It also offers a splendid view of the lake.

Driving southward around the lake you will reach Castiglione del Lago, a medieval town full of life, shops and restaurants. The town hall with historical frescoes dedicated to the Duke of Corgna, the lord of these lands, is interesting to visit.
In 217 b. C. a battle between Hannibal and the consul Flaminio took place in
Tuoro but unfortunately there are really few traces of the past here. On the surrounding hills you could look for a church dedicated to Saint Agata which was built out of the remains of a pagan temple. Once a year a mass is celebrated there to honour the memory of the past but foreigners are not encouraged to take part.

 

If you prefer to spend your spare time near the lake you could sunbathe on the beach (umbrellas and deck-chairs are available) or read a book lying on the grass of "Campo del Sole" in the frame of 27 statues by contemporary artists.