Do you know that Umbria is the first Italian region that obtained the recognition of the PDO for the Extra virgin olive oil throughout the region?
The Umbria PDO designation is accompanied by five geographical references: so here we have an itinerary among gastronomy and culture, from Magione to Passignano, to discover one of these geographical references, the one of Trasimeno Hills.
The Trasimeno Hills’ PDO
The olive production area includes the territories of Perugia, Piegaro, Paciano, Panicale, Castiglione del Lago, Magione, Tuoro sul Trasimneo, Passignano sul Trasimeno, Lisciano Niccone, Umbertide, Città di Castello, Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, Corciano, Citerna, San Giustino, Montone e Pietralunga.
It’s an extra virgin olive oil derived from the following olive tree varieties: Moraiolo and Dolce Agogia (no less than 15%); Frantoio and Leccino (jointly no less than 65%) and possibly other varieties up to a maximum limit of 20%. Thanks to its colour that flows from green to golden yellow, to its fruity taste with a slight bitter and spicy taste, it would be ideal on freshwater fish carpaccio, roasted fine fishes and vegetable soups.
The period between October and November is for sure the best one to get to know closely the oil production in Umbria, especially on the occasion of Open Oil Mills that will enable you to take part in tastings, walks and olive harvest, in order to celebrate the arrival of the new Extra virgin olive oil, together with the other food and wine excellencies of the Italian Green Heart. More specifically, “Olivagando” takes place in Magione each year, whereas Passignano hosts “OIiamo”: both initiatives are an excellent occasion to discover better the extra virgin olive oil of the Trasimeno (we recommend you to check the programme of Open Oil Mills to verify the dates).
A dozen or so of oil mills are located in the Trasimeno areas. If you want to take advantage of the event to visit them, simply check which oil mills are joining the initiative.
The following itinerary starts from Magione, nevertheless with a unique integrated ticket you can start from any Umbria spot and thanks to the integrated travel document you will be able to travel on all local transport services (bus/train/boat, minimetrò, funicular) without extra costs.
Leave in the morning, so to enjoy the whole day with calm and without missing anything that these splendid areas offer.
Our itinerary starts from Magione, a village dominated by the majestic castle of the Malta Knights standing on the hills of the Trasimeno eastern shore.
The castle of Malta Knights is precisely the most representative building of the town and consequently you can not miss a visit to it: it is located within the town of Magione and today it is perfectly integrated in its urban centre.
Always in the village we recommend you not to miss the Church of St. John Baptist, with an imposing façade enriched by the cycle of frescoes of Gerardo Dottori; the church of Our Lady of the Graces that preserves “The Virgin enthroned with the Child” (1371), a painting attributed to Andrea di Giovanni from Orvieto; and the Lombardi Tower, executed between the 12th and the 13th century by the Jerusalem Knights as defensive system.
You will arrive thus at lunch time and you should enjoy a break in one of the local restaurants, where we recommend you to choose one of the dishes that will give you the opportunity to taste the raw oil in combination with one of the typical products of the lake, such as the fagiolina (a little bean) of the Trasimeno.
At this stage leave again and travel towards Passignano: just take the regional train that runs every hour and that in few minutes will lead to your destination (here you find the timetables).
Once reached Passignano that stands on a small promontory made up of the last foothills running along the northern shore of the Lake Trasimeno, you will find yourself in a village that combines perfectly nature, history, art and folklore.
The Medieval Fortress rises in the highest point of the village and houses the Boats’ Museum, that we recommend you to visit.
Among the buildings of artistic value we remind you to visit the Church of St. Cristoforo, the 15th century Church of St. Rocco, the Church of St. Bernardino and the Oratory of San Rocco.
Before leaving again, enjoy an aperitif along the lake and maybe you could taste a good glass of DOC wine coming from the Trasimeno hills: the colours of sunset will leave you breathless.
In order to return to Magione it will be sufficient to catch the train you took at the departure.
You can enrich the itinerary we proposed with: