Despite its travel appeal and beautiful scenery, Lake Trasimeno and the towns that surround it still remain something of an undiscovered gem. Located at the heart of Italy, this inland pool of shimmering freshwater offers visitors the chance to have a coastal holiday, without actually being on the coast. The small towns and villages dotted around the shoreline of the lake enjoy unobstructed views across the water. If you’ve not visited this region of Italy before, then Lake Trasimeno will be the necessary catalyst to book your next Italian adventure. Here’s everything you need to know about travelling to this sensational part of the country.
When to Visit
Although, as we’ve mentioned, the towns and villages that populate the edges of the lake are fairly undiscovered by many travellers to this part of Italy, they still operate on a very resort based schedule. This means that during April through to October, everything will be full of life, with restaurants, shops and cafes open during the days and into the evenings. Visiting outside of the high season will allow you to dip into a more traditional experience, as you’ll likely be one of just a handful of people visiting. Expect more restaurants to be closed or to have limited hours, however, this can result in unexpected opportunities to bond with the locals!
How to Get To and Around the Lake
Along the south, east and west of the lakes, the mains roads for travelling are the SR71 and the SR599, both of which are main roads and have room for one car on either side. There aren’t markings on all parts of these roads so we’d suggest paying extra attention to any oncoming traffic to ensure you have room to pass, especially if you’ve not driven in Italy before. To the north, the Raccordo Autostradale 6 Bettolle-Perugia is a dual carriageway that leads to and from the city of Perugia.
When flying into the country, the nearest airport to the lake is the international airport, dell’Umbria, which is located roughly two miles the other side of Perugia, roughly 30 – 50 minutes from the lake depending on which side you’ll be heading towards. There are also a number of train stations and bus stops in the towns that surround the lake which makes accessing the area via public transport relatively stress-free.
How to Spend Your Time There
The towns and villages around the lake are perfect for spending some time exploring. We’d recommend visiting:
This beautiful winery is set just a few minutes walk from the water’s edge, in the small province of Magione. You can enjoy the wine produced here, along with taking in beautiful views across the gardens and surrounding areas. We’d recommend grabbing a bottle or two to take back to your villa with you, as one or two glasses won’t be enough!
Palazzo della Corgna
Looking out across the water is this magnificent palace, located on the west side of the lake. The palace is a real spectacle and whilst wandering through the rooms and halls, you can’t help but marvel at the architecture and artistry required to create such a building. The tour will guide you through the mid-16th-century rooms, showcasing the beautiful frescoes on the walls and ceilings.
Just a few minutes walk from the palace is the medieval fortress that sits just meters from the shoreline. Offering a completely different historical experience to the palace, the intimidating fortress was built in an irregular shape and grants visitors fantastic views across the shimmering lake.
Swimming and Sun-Bathing
Just because you’re not on the coast doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take your chance to have a swim and lay on one of the small coves or beaches that are dotted around the shoreline. Because of the lake’s shallow depth, the water warms quickly during the summer months meaning you won’t have too much of a shock when you set foot in there. It is clean and safe so perfect for children too! We’d recommend visiting the beaches near Castiglione as these are the best for swimming and basking in the warming rays of the sun.
Sights to see:
- Torre dei Lambardi
- Chiesa di Santa Maria Maddalena
- Passignano sul Trasimeno
If you’re staying in one of our luxury holiday villas in Tuscany and fancy heading across the border into the region of Umbria, Lake Trasimeno is the perfect place to visit on a day trip!