The Trasimeno Lake is the largest lake in the centre of Italy and the fourth lake of Italy, after the Como Lake. It is also a shallow lake, only about 6 meters at it’s deepest point. It is a wetland, only fed by rainwater and it belongs to one of the Living Lakes of Unesco.
The lake and it’s immediate surroundings are a nature reserve and for birdwatchers a true paradise. In winter many birds from the North of Europe can be spotted here, like coots, mallards, gadwalls, cormorants and the great crested grebe. In Spring and Summer the lake is populated by many birds from Africa that pass the summer here and grow their offspring before returning to Africa. One can spot for instance reed warblers, purple herons, night herons, cattle egrets and little bitterns. Most birds can be spotted early in the morning or before sunset.
At the Oasi La Valle at the foothill of the tiny hamlet of San Savino there is a study centre that can be visited. At its ornithological centre more then 200 species have been identified so far. A visit to the centre could be nice change during your stay in Umbria.
One can independently visit this oasi. The entrance is euro 3 pp, including binoculars or euro 5 also including audio. There also is an organized visit one can take part in every Thursday and Saturday between 10.30 and 12 in the morning. One can participate in the bird ringing activity, also accessible for children.
June-September 9-13 and 16-20
October – May 9-13 and 15-18
On Monday’s the centre is closed.
Address: Via dell’Emissario, Località San Savino, 06063 Magione
And if you are hungry after your visit, drive on towards Santarcangelo. Just before this village on the left hand side of the road and overlooking the lake is “Alfiero” or “DaMaria”. It is a self service with excellent torta al testo. During summer one sits in the shade of high pine trees overlooking the lake. It is not a luxury restaurant but price quality is good. Mind it may be very busy here, many Italians come here particularly during the weekend.
– Posted by Saskia van der Bolt –