Tuoro sul Trasimeno
What looks like an ordinary lakeside town was actually the scene of one of history's epic battles. Tuoro sul Trasimeno is now a placid place on the shore of Lake Trasimeno. Its medieval monuments and fishing pier provide pretty spots to visit. But a few millennia ago this was a battleground during the Punic Wars. In what has been called "the greatest ambush in history," the Carthaginian general Hannibal routed the greater Roman legions led by Gaius Flaminius, driving them into the lake and sending the Romans into turmoil at the infringement on their territory. The Palazzo del Capra in the historic center is a Renaissance era regal residence built over the remains of Roman buildings, said to be where Gaius Flaminius died in battle and was interred. The palace has frescoes by Perugino and houses the museum dedicated to this epic battle.
The town of Tuoro sul Trasimeno lies on the wondrous and clear fresh water of Lago Trasimeno and from its streets you can admire an awesome panorama of hills, fields and green forest in the surrounding countryside, with the lake lying below. There are monuments, elegant palaces and villas to explore. There are several churches to visit: the Chiesa di Santa Maria Maddalena contains some unique pieces of art, the Chiesa di Sant’Agata was built in the XII century, while the Pieve di Confine is a beautiful historic building.
The Castello di Montegualandro was built in the 13th century on a hill overlooking the town. Visit to see the crenellated towers and walls that once encircled it for protection. It is now a hotel so you can walk around the grounds. Another example of local art and history is found at the Museo del Merletto – the lace museum – where you'll see some interesting and stylish handmade lace works. Be sure to wander through the monumental sculpture garden, the Campo del Sole (literally: Field of the Sun). There is a collection of 27 column sculptures in differing styles, sometimes referred to as "the Italian Stonehenge."
Perhaps the most well-known place here isn't in Tuoro itself but off its shore - the lovely island known as Isola Maggiore. The largest of the islands on Lake Trasimeno, you can catch a ferry from Tuoro to spend a day on this little piece of paradise. You can't miss the brick lace-like roofline of the Castello Guglielmi, the most visible landmark on the island. Visit the Pieve di San Michele Arcangelo, which dates back in the XIII century and used to be one of the main Church for the locals. A rotund medieval tower still stands guard at the waterline, while the tree-covered island looks like an oasis. There are three restaurants on the Isola Maggiore so you can enjoy a lunch of fresh water fish while you're there.
Explore nearby towns
On the northern rim of Lake Trasimeno, where the water meets the rock, sits Passignano, a town with an interesting combination of nature and history, art and folklore.
Terontola is a tidy country town at the foot of the hill near Castiglione del Lago.
A quiet country town in the geographic center of Italy, Lisciano Niccone is located right along the line where Umbria sweeps into Tuscany.
Been there? Done that? Share your experience and tips!
Haven't visited yet? Have questions about Tuoro sul Trasimeno? Ask them here!