Castiglione del Lago, Tuoro sul Trasimeno, Passignano sul Trasimeno, Monte del Lago, Sant'Arcangelo, Castello di Montalera, Parco del Trasimeno

Technical Sheet

Start and Arrival: Castiglione del Lago
Distance: 70,5 kms
Height Difference: 440 metres
Grade: medium - difficult
Surface: sealed, dirt
Suitable for: mtbs, hybrids along the shorter route
What ti see: Castiglione del Lago, Tuoro sul Trasimeno, Passignano sul Trasimeno, Monte del Lago, Sant’Arcangelo, Castello di Montalera, Parco del Trasimeno

About half of the route around Lake Trasimeno is along a walking/ cycling track that was inaugurated in 2005. The track has still to be completed, so some stretches are along road, but when it is finished, it will go right around the lake on easy dirt road.

In the meantime, while waiting for work to be completed and to avoid the traffic between Sant’Arcangelo e Castiglione del Lago, an alternative route through Montalera, Macchie and Sanfatucchio is suggested, along dirt or sealed roads with little traffic.

The overall length of the route is 70,5 kms, starting from the ex airport at Castiglione del Lago, and since it is along the flat, it is an easy ride, especially if cyclists take a rest at some of the numerous scenic viewpoints or refreshment places along the way. Being a long way to cycle, however, some cyclists may prefer to break the ride into two stages, with a stopover at San Feliciano or Sant’Arcangelo.

The route starts from the entrance gate to the government estate around the airport, where the cycling/walking track goes along the lakeshore towards Tuoro. After passing through a natural reserve, it returns to sealed road at Borghetto (km 8,9), then goes back to the track after about a kilometre. Here, it runs close to the water of the lake through a thick wood that is cool even in hot summer weather.

Past the wood, the track runs close to the railway line to Lido di Tuoro (km 14,7), where food and water are available. At Passignano, the track is interrupted again and cyclists are “obliged” to go through the attractive little town on the shores of the lake until they reach Darsena, where the track starts again at the level crossing (km 21,8). From here, it runs alongside the railway to Torricella, where it then picks up the Sp 316 road to San Feliciano (km 26,5) for a short distance.

Past the old fishing village of San Feliciano, through pretty hills with olive groves and old farmhouses, the route continues to San Savino, alternating stretches of road and cycling track. In less than a kilometre, it arrives at Oasi la Valle (a Nature centre run by Stageambiente, where the lake’s ecosystem can be observed in all its variety), then turns right along a dirt road that goes in less than 3 kilometres to La Frusta, where the track ends.

From here, the route turns right along the SS 399 road( beware of the traffic) to Sant’Arcangelo. At km 45, there is a crossroad where cyclists can choose between returning through the traffic along the main road to San Feliciano or Sant’Arcangelo (the shortest route, about 13 kms), or moving away from the lake, through the countryside and its pretty scenery to Casalini, Le Macchie and San Fatucchio, arriving at Castiglione del Lago after 27 kilometres.

In the latter case, there is a short climb to the foot of the castle at Montalera, an imposing 12th century fortress built amongst oak and holm woods, with Guelph merlons, defensive walls, moat and draw bridge. The living quarters have been transformed into a beautiful Renaissance palace.

Once past the only real climb along the way, the route continues along secondary or dirt roads bordering the fields, through the villages of Macchie and San Fatucchio, then arrives at Vitellino (km 65,4), just outside Castiglione del Lago.

Here it turns right along the road to Castiglione del Lago and reaches a roundabout after 2 kms, where the road along the lakeshore can be seen. This is the best and the easiest way to return to the start, as there is a cycling lane alongside the scenic drive along the lake, with the town of Castiglione high up to the left.

What to see

The whole area around Lake Trasimeno is of great interest. The lake is 126 sq.kms, making it Italy’s fourth largest, and it is protected as a Regional Park. Its rounded shape, gentle hills, olive groves and cultivated fields make it a natural attraction and a favourite destination for foreign tourists.

The start and arrival of the route is at Castigione del Lago, the main centre of the lake area and a beautiful town to visit. The historical heart is surrounded by medieval walls and three gateways and beautiful views over the lake can be seen.

Inside the town are the Rocca del Leone, a pentagonal medieval fortress, one of the best examples of military architecture in the region, Palazzo della Corgna, an estageant Renaissance aristocratic residence built by Ascanio della Corgna In 1560 to plans created by Vignola or Galeazzo Alessi.

At Tuoro, not far from the start, is the “Battle of Lake Trasimeno” historical route, which reconstructs the battle between the Romans and the Carthaginians in 217 B.C., when the Romans were soundly beaten by Hannibal’s army.

Passignano is also worth visiting, as it has preserved many of the characteristics of an ancient fortified village protected by walls and a fortress. The church of San Cristoforo, the 15th century church of San Rocco, the church of San Bernardino and the Oratorio di San Rocco are also interesting. Don’t miss a trip on the boat to visit the Maggiore and Polvese islands.

The Castle of the Knights of Malta at Magione is one of the most beautiful in Umbria. It has a square shape with circular towers at the corners. The present building is the result of the enlargement of an earlier castle that was built over an ancient 12th century Benedictine abbey, where the Knights Templar are thought to have resided, and an early hospice founded in the 12th century by the Knights of Jerusalem.

Around the lake, it is worth visiting the ancient villages of Castel Rigone, Montecolognola and Monte del Lago, where there is a beautiful view of the lake, the old fishing villages of San Feliciano and Sant’Arcangelo, and the hamlets nestling amongst the hills between Tuscany and Umbria, such as Gioiella, Villastrada, and San Fatucchio.

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