Lake fish: flavours and traditions of Trasimeno
Discover Lake Trasimeno and one of its specialities: its tasty fish will astonish you
Although Umbria is landlocked, this won't stop you from having the chance to enjoy wonderful fish. We propose a visit which encompasses food and wine as well as culture, along the shores of Lake Trasimeno to discover more about an ingredient which has greatly influenced the traditions of area: lake fish.
The tradition of fishing in the lake has ancient origins dating back to the first people who lived in the area: the Etruscans. For a long while, fishing was neglected and its tradition almost forgotten, but in recent years, a series of initiatives brought about by local institutions and residents have revived this ancient practice and restored fish to its starring role in local cuisine.
To begin, head towards San Feliciano, a small town in the Magione district: where you can visit the Museo della Pesca sul Lago Trasimeno: you'll be able to learn more about lake fishing techniques, the history of fishing practices and see the famous "giacchi", nets expertly made by hand used to catch the fish. You cannot fail to be moved by the atmosphere of the museum's location; the museum itself is a structure next to a typical and peaceful fishing port. If you are in San Feliciano at the end of July, don't miss the Sagra del Giacchio where you'll be able to enjoy delicious lake fish-based dishes.
Anguilla (Eel), carassio (Crucian carp), carpa (Common carp), latterino (Big-scale sand smelt), luccio (Pike), persico reale (European perch), persico sole (Pumpkinseeds), pesce gatto (Catfish) and tinca (Tench) are the fish which are caught every day in the waters of Trasimeno. Head towards Passignano sul Trasimeno, to Tuoro or to Castiglione del Lago: many restaurants have stunning lake views and you'll be able to savour delicious dishes, enjoying the unique and special flavour of fish. Try carpa regina in porchetta or the traditional tegamaccio, a fish soup, which takes its name from the terracotta tegame (pot) in which it is cooked. Another succulent dish is brustico: the unscaled fish are roasted on embers made from reeds from the lake and are then fileted and dressed with local olive oil and lemon. Alternatively, perch has a much more delicate flavour and can be enjoyed fried or in a pasta sauce.
The Festa della Padella in Passignano sul Trasimeno (which usually takes place at the end of August) and the Sagra del Pesce del Trasimeno in Borghetto di Tuoro, in June are very popular events, where you can enjoy wonderful food.
To accompany the fish-based dishes, you have a vast choice of wines: those identified by the "Colli del Trasimeno" or "Trasimeno DOC" appellation are among some of the most well-known and important of the region.