Lake Trasimeno, Umbria

The selected area includes the Lake Trasimeno and surrounding shores, towns, villages and hills. Lake Trasimeno is a tectonic lake in the province of Perugia, Umbria region, the largest lake in central Italy with an area of 128 km², fourth among the lakes in Italy. This extension is however accompanied by a shallow depth, average 4.3 m, maximum 6 m, which makes it classified as a laminar lake. For many years the name Trasimeno was believed to come from the Latin expression “among the mountains you will see the lake”, but it was very popular to attribute the name from the homonymous prince drowned for having been misled by the nymph Agilla, according to a legend. These origins of the name have been questioned by the discovery of the Tabula cortonensis, an Etruscan bronze artefact from the beginning of the second century BC, which bears the Etruscan name of the lake, Tarminass, clearly similar to the Latin form, evidence of the probable Etruscan origin of the toponym, given the geographical location of the lake in the middle of Etruria. The area, inhabited since prehistoric times, as evidenced by the findings now preserved in the National Archaeological Museum of Umbria, in 217 BC saw an epic battle on the shores of the lake, during the second Punic war, in which the Carthaginian forces of Hannibal defeated the Roman legions of the consul Gaius Flaminio. In 1422 Braccio da Montone, lord of Perugia, due to the swamping of the valley and the natural emissary of the lake, had an artificial emissary built, for a total length of about 1 km, still visible. This work, however, did not solve the problems to the point that even Leonardo da Vinci studied an ingenious hydraulic outlet, never put in place, to regulate the excess flows of the Trasimeno and allow navigation with the cities of Arezzo, Florence and Pisa. The lake shores have been since centuries devoted to the cultivation of cereals, while the traditional landscape of the surrounding hills is dominated olive groves and vineyards. Three islands add charm to the lake: Maggiore, Polvese, and Minore, the first two open to the public and including accommodation and restaurants. The area of Lake Trasimeno, as a whole, is considered one of the most attractive in Umbria for both national and foreign tourism.

The ecosystem of Lake Trasimeno and the surrounding areas, on which the presence of 8 Municipalities insists, possesses specific characteristics of high environmental and socio-cultural value, which make it an area of notable naturalistic interest and of great value in the tourism and agri-food sectors. Regarding the environmental aspects, particularly important are native and migrant bird species and plant biodiversity, part of a natural heritage that must be adequately protected and that the University of Perugia, together with environmental associations, local institutions and stakeholders of the common good constituted by the lake and its shores, has contributed to census and localize. In the Trasimeno area are included several SCI, Sites of Community Importance, included in the Natura 2000 network, and the lake itself is also both SAC, Special Area of Conservation, according to the Habitats Directive EEC 92/43, and SPA, Special Protection Area, according to the EC 2009/147 Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds. This circumstance makes Lake Trasimeno a naturalistic destination targeted to ecotourism, but also the persistence of ancient works related to fishing, farming and quality food, and craftmanship is one of the main attractive drivers of local tourism development. As regards agricultural biodiversity and the sustainable development of agri-food production activities, have been particularly developed activities based on research and promotion on the main crops and food production such as viticulture and olive growing, with the enhancement of the related geographical indications (PGI) and denominations (PDO), and sustainable agronomic practices, integrated and organic production, and study and development of niche products, such as the Cowpea of Trasimeno (“Fagiolina del Trasimeno”, Vigna unguiculata L. Walp.), the Saffron of Città della Pieve (“Zafferano di Città della Pieve”, Crocus sativus L.) and old varieties of cereals and minor legumes. The fruit and vegetable crops are particularly suited to the Trasimeno area with some excellences such as the Broccoli del Lago (“Broccoletto del Lago”, Brassica Rapa L. subsp. Sylvestris) and the Scosciamonaca Plum (“Susina scosciamonaca”, Prunus domestica L.), and beekeeping which finds a particular favorable environment in the flora local. In the livestock sector, the Chianina breed PGI (“Vitellone Bianco dell’Appennino Centrale IGP”) originating from the Val di Chiana in the surroundings of Lake Trasimeno, is particularly relevant. The tradition of fishing in the lake has ancient origins that date back to the first peoples who inhabited the area: the Etruscans. For a long time, fishing was put aside and its tradition almost forgotten, but in recent years, a series of initiatives carried out by the institutions and the locals have revived this ancient practice and returned to the fish of the Trasimeno Lake the role of king of the local table. By visiting the Fishing Museum of San Feliciano on Lake Trasimeno tourists will get to know the techniques of fishing on the lake, the history of the fishing practice and see the famous "giacchio", a kind of net used to catch fish and hand made. The atmosphere of the place where the museum is located is a building close to a typical and quiet fishing port. In San Feliciano, at the end of July, it is yearly organized the Festa del Giacchio where to taste excellent dishes based on lake fish. Eel, carp, silverside, pike, perch, sun perch, catfish and tench are the fish species caught every day in the waters of Lake Trasimeno. Traditional dishes are: the queen carp in “porchetta”, flavoured with herbs and filled with pork cartilages, or the typical “tegamaccio”, a fish soup, which takes its name from the terracotta pan in which it is cooked. The unique diversity of the Lake Trasimeno area and its landscape views makes it extremely suitable for outdoor activities, such as trekking, biking, horse riding, boating, sailing, canoeing, windsurfing, fishing and all kinds of bird watching, as well as for food, wine and extra-virgin olive oil tasting, offered by the restaurants with traditional recipes. A special traditional cake during the Christmas time is the “torciglione”, made of almonds, in shape of an eel, like a symbol of the lake. The cultural heritage around Lake Trasimeno is one of the most important of the region Umbria, including churches, castles, fortresses, abbeys and monasteries of the medieval and renaissance period. Pietro Vannucci, called Perugino, the divine painter master of Raffaello, was born in Città della Pieve, and some important masterpieces can be admired in Città della Pieve and Panicale. Castiglione del Lago is the location of the magnificent Palazzo della Corgna, property of one of the most powerful families in Umbria, of the XVI/XVII centuries, and of a medieval tower.

• Cultural (castles, old villages, churches, etc.) and natural (Natura 2000 sites) heritage • Agritourism and ecotourism • Food, wine and extra-virgin olive oil tourism • Hiking and trekking • Biking • Horse riding, trekking and endurance • Fishing • Boating, sailing, and canoeing • Aviotourism and acrobatic parachuting