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Lake Trasimeno, Castiglione del Lago

Umbria, Italy, Europe: Umbria's Lake Trasimeno is the biggest on the Italian peninsula.
Tourist info: 10 Piazza Mazzini
Castiglione del Lago
Italy 06061
Tel: 39 075 965 2484
view web site ›'s insider take:

The largest lake on the Italian peninsula, Trasimeno is a lovely place for a day out (although the weedy bottom and murky water aren't great for swimming). The main towns around the lake are picturesque Castiglione del Lago, on the western side, and sleepy Tuoro and Passignano on the north shore. From any of these, you can pick up a ferry to Isola Maggiore (timetable at; click on "Orari," then "Navigazione del Trasimeno"). The only inhabited island of the three on the lake, Maggiore has a pretty one-street village known for its lace shops; a basic hotel, Da Sauro (39-075-826-168;, with a restaurant serving grilled lake fish; and some good walks. (The entire circuit of the island takes no more than an hour.) The lake's largest island, Isola Polvese (accessed by boats from San Feliciano, on the eastern shore), is a nature reserve with a garden of aquatic plants and the remains of a 15th-century monastery.

Just south of Trasimeno, in a Tuscan-style landscape of rolling hills, stand the fine fortified villages of Paciano and Panicale—the latter home to the excellent Lillo Tatini restaurant. Further to the southeast, Città della Pieve, a handsome walled town made almost entirely of weathered brick, has an interesting claim to fame. In addition to being the birthplace of Renaissance painter Perugino (whose Adoration of the Magi adorns the little oratory of Santa Maria dei Bianchi in Via Vannucci), it also has what's allegedly the narrowest street in Italy: Vicolo delle Baciadonne, or "Kiss-lady Lane."

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