Today my blog looks at Passignano sul Trasimeno on the shore of Lago Trasimeno in Umbria, Italy. A wonderful town full of interesting shops, great places to eat and a fabulous view of the lake.
Passignano sul Trasimeno in Umbria, Italy
Where is Passignano sul Trasimeno?
Passignano sul Trasimeno (Passignano) is about 20kms (just over 12 miles) from the city of Perugia in the region of Umbria, Italy. It has a picturesque ferry dock shown here with a ferry in the distance. This is part of a system of ferries serving the main towns on the lake and the three islands. I can actually see Passignano from my house, in the distance, on the far side of the lake. We can sometimes see the ferry travelling from the town to one of the islands. Passignano is a beautiful town to visit and has an interesting history.
History of Passignano sul Trasimeno
In 1922 an aircraft manufacturer, Società Aeronautica Italiana, was established in Passignano, later becoming SAI Ambrosio when it was taken over in 1934. The firm built light touring and racing aircraft which formed the basis for fighter designs during World War II (though they never entered production). Aircraft were tested at Eleuteri airport not far from the factory in Passignano. SAI Ambrosio became involved with boat building and oil rigs, eventually closing in 1992.
There is a modern sculpture in the lake at Passignano, a stylised depiction of an aerial squadron, that honours dead pilots. You can see it here in the background behind the two bicycles.
Development of the Town
While the main part of the town of Passignano has been developed since the Sixteenth Century, it boasts a medieval Rocca or fortress. Passignano was on the main route from Umbria to Tuscany. The Rocca played an important defensive role in several battles. As well as the ruins of the Rocca itself, you can clearly see signs of the ‘new’ town juxtaposed with the old architecture as in this image with the modern town in front with the backdrop of the medieval architecture.
Fishing has always played a big part in the economy of Passignano sul Trasimeno given its proximity to Lago Trasimeno. Tourism also contributes a large amount to the local economy.
The old traditions and the concept of tourist attraction combine with the Palio delle Barche (Battle of the Boats) at the end of July each year. Tourists flock to the town to witness the Palio.
In 1495 there was a batle between the families of Baglioni (Perugia) and Della Corgna (Castiglione del Lago) working together against the Oddi family who lived in the fort of Passignano. The Palio delle Barche has taken place since 1983 commemorating that battle. Survivors had to flee, carrying their boats on their shoulders. This short video gives an overview of what takes place at the Palio.
Visiting Passignano sul Lago
Passignano is geared up to visitors with a well developed waterfront comprising numerous bars and restaurants. Here you can eat locally caught fish or perhaps sit and drink a beer watching the sun set over the lake.
It has a number of interesting shops. Of particular note are the shops selling ceramics, mainly created in Deruta, the famous ceramics centre of Umbria. It is almost impossible to visit without buying something. I can testify to this as my dining room is full of beautiful ceramics bought in Passignano!
Above all, Passignano sul Trasimeno provides a wonderful fusion of traditional Italian living with catering to the tourist trade and the influx of local Italians on holidays such as Ferragosto (15 August). As well as beautiful architecture, great restaurants and shops, the attractions of Lago Trasimeno and boat trips you might just come across a little gem like this glorious red Vespa.
All of the images in my blog today are available as fine art photography mounted prints (without the copyright) from my Imagine Umbria-Tuscany website. The Red Vespa is also available from my main on-line gallery in a variety of print sizes and formats.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!