Take a walk in the open air, enjoy a day out and visit the two main islands of the "Umbrian sea": Polvese and Maggiore. Do you prefer cycling? Take your bike with you: Lake Trasimeno ferries and buses have bike carriers!
Depart from Perugia, take the bus E017 to Passignano sul Trasimeno, a small town on the shores of the lake. From here the ferry leaves for Maggiore Island, the only inhabited one. The island was dear to St. Francis, who reached it in 1211 for Lent.
As soon as you land, after a short boat ride, you will find yourself in a delightful village, which preserves the appearance of a small fishing enclave, with houses of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century origin. 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 crosses 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 handicraft 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 Maggiore Island is completed. The name ("bigger") is deceptive, because Trasimeno's largest island is 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 lake-front village. From here, reach the marina and take the ferry for Isola, as the locals call it.
The ferry leaves you 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 built, 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 landscape architects. Here is a wide variety of aquatic plants, both native and from other places, all immersed in the pool dug into the rock and fed directly by the waters of Trasimeno.
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 have children along, this is the ideal place for a break. The area is equipped with a playground and volleyball courts. The tour of Polvese Island ends here. The ferry to return to the mainland starts from the marina a few meters away. Our tour of the islands of Trasimeno ends here as well: unfortunately, the third island of the Lake, Minore 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. Don't leave Trasimeno without having tasted the delicious fish dishes of the lake, such as the tegamaccio, the Regina (carp) in porchetta or the fried perch.
- More information about Umbria.Go
- Summer Trasimeno Lines
- More information on ferries
- Busitalia timetables - city buses:
- Busitalia timetables - extra-urban buses