Nature parks and theme parks

A day among the islands of the Trasimeno lake

Sail on the waters of the Trasimeno Lake and go discovering the mainland: the Major island and the Polvese island are waiting for you. 

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Tourist information and welcome office
Piazza Gramsci 1 - 06061 Castiglione del Lago
info@iat.castiglione-del-lago.pg.it

If you want to take a walk in the open air, take a day off and visit the two main islands of the "Umbrian sea": Polvese and Major. Do you prefer cycling? Take your bike with you: at the Trasimeno Lake, ferries and buses have a bike carrier!

Depart from Perugia, take the bus E017 that leads to Passignano sul Trasimeno, a small town on the shores of the lake. From here the ferry leaves for the Major Island, the only one to be inhabited. The island was dear to St. Francis, who reached it in 1211 for Lent. Walking times are short: your hike might start in about half an hour.

As soon as you land you will find yourself immersed in a delightful village, which preserves the appearance of a small fishing village, with houses of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century origin. From here there are two possible itineraries to visit the island: we recommend taking the road on the left and following Via Guglielmi, in order to start the excursion with a pleasant walk along the lake.

Climb along the Road of San Salvatore, you will come across the Romanesque church bearing the same name. Continuing along the path we recommend a stop at the Gothic church of Saint Michael the Archangel: inside you can admire frescoes dated between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries.

Now take the path that descends and cuts Viale Marchesa Isabella, until you reach the Chapel of Saint Francis. Inside there is the bed where the Saint is said to have rested. A little further on is the cliff where St. Francis stopped to pray as soon as he arrived on the island.

The visit can continue towards the Guglielmi Castle, located in the southernmost part of the island. In 1904, Elena Guglielmi created inside it a workshop of Irish point lace. Since then, this processing has become a typical feature of the area. Returning to the village, it is worth stopping at the Museum of Lace, where you can admire the beauty of these artistic artefacts.

The tour of Major Island is completed. Even if the name may deceive, the biggest island of the Trasimeno Lake is not, however, the Major, rather the Polvese, which is part of the Wildlife Oasis of the Trasimeno Lake. Take the ferry again and return to the mainland, taking the bus E112 (Red Line) or riding your bike in the direction of San Feliciano, a pretty village on the shores of the lake. From here, reach the marina and take the ferry for the Island, as the locals call it.

After getting off the ferry you will be in front of Villa Biagiotti, a building built around the 1940s; take the path on the left and start the walk. After a few meters you'll be at the fifteenth-century Fortress, of which only the perimeter walls remain. The internal courtyard, recently renovated, is now a theatre hosting outdoor performances.

A few steps from the castle, if you continue along the path, you will find the small medieval church of San Giuliano, with a single nave and erected, according to the historians, on the ruins of a Roman villa: in the terraced wall of the church you can indeed admire the remains of the opus reticulatum, a building and decorative technique typical of Roman buildings.

 

The path continues to the left of the castle: follow it and you will not be disappointed. It will lead you to the Garden of Aquatic Plants, designed in 1959 by Pietro Porcinai, one of the greatest Italian architects of the landscape. Here there is a wide variety of aquatic plants, both native and from other places, all immersed in the swimming pool dug into the rock and fed directly by the waters of Trasimeno Lake.

Continue until you reach the Monastery of the Olivetan Monks and the Church of San Secondo, inhabited by the Olivetan monks from 1404 to 1624, of which today only the crypt and a part of the refectory remain.

If you pass the holm oak wood, on the right, you will reach the beach. If you are in the company of children, this is the ideal place for a break. The area is equipped with a playground and volleyball courts. The tour of the Polvese Island ends here. The ferry to return to the mainland starts from the marina a few meters away. The tour between the islands of Trasimeno Lake ends here as well: unfortunately, the third island of the Lake, the Minor Island (also called Little Island), cannot be visited because it is private and today uninhabited.

It is worth taking a tour of San Feliciano and visit the fortress, the Fishing Museum and the Boat Museum. It is advisable not to leave the Trasimeno without having tasted the delicious fish dishes of the lake, such as the tegamaccio, the Regina (carp) in porchetta or the fried perch.