Umbria Blog | Hannibal and the Romans at Lake Trasimeno

At Lake Trasimeno an important historical event took place in the year 217 before Christ, during the second Punic war: Hannibal won from the Romans in a short but fierce battle in which the Roman Consul Caio Flaminio lost his life.

We all know the story of Hannibal who left Cartago, the city destroyed by the Romans, to vindicate his people. He marched to Rome with his elephants via Spain and the Alps, gathering more men to fight with him along the way and leaving a trail of destruction behind. Arriving at the Trasimeno Lake he already lost his last elephant, but his army was still feared and strong.

The lay out of the landscape in the area where now Tuoro sul Trasimeno is situated, was ideal to trap the Roman soldiers that were following him: hills to one side and the lake to the other side. The Roman soldiers were not used to the tactical warfare of Hannibal and almost literally walked into the arms of the fierce soldiers awaiting them on a foggy morning.

It is an intriguing story and if you want to learn more about it, you may want to visit the museum in Tuoro sul Trasimeno ‘Museo di Annibale al Trasimeno‘. You’ll learn about the history and the background of this bloody battle where 15.000 (!) Roman soldiers lost their lives. There are written explanations and video presentations in English and Italian.

You can also make a tour on foot, by bike, or even partly by car, going through the valley where once the battle took place. There are explanations of the most important facts of the battle along the way.

A couple of years ago the battle of Hannibal against the Romans at Lake Trasimeno was enacted in a great spectacle with participants of other countries too.

In Tuoro sul Trasimeno one is proud of this historical heritage and people come to study the battle here. The yearly village feasts in August remember the presence of Hannibal and the Romans: the 4 quarters of town “battling” each other with games, theatre and cooking. Don’t miss it if you are in the area. The program is available at the local tourist information.

Umbria Blog | The caves of Monte Cucco

Many people know the famous caves of Frasassi in the Marche. These are impressive caves visited by many tourists during their holiday in the Marche or in Umbria.

Not many people know that also Umbria has some beautiful caves: the caves of Monte Cucco. The mountain ‘Monte Cucco’ is located in the natural park of Monte Cucco where in the valley are the villages of Fossato di Vico, Sigillo, Costacciaro and Scheggia. This is a beautiful area that is less known and has many opportunities for active holidaymakers.

We visited the caves, but you can also go hang gliding, trekking, canyoning, cycling, horseback riding and more. You can find a lot of information on the website of the park: Discover Monte Cucco.

For the more adventurous tourists the caves are well worth the effort. You need to be fit and healthy and will have to bring good walking shoes and warm clothing. After a walk uphill from about 2 km you arrive at the entrance to the caves where you enter via long and steep stairs descending into the caves. There is a constant temperature of 6 °C and the humidity is 90°.

It is a beautiful experience and impressive to quite literally walk in a mountain where also others left their traces throughout the centuries. There is an inscription found from the 15th century. Today one walks through the caves which are lit and where stairs and bridges are made to be able to pass the most difficult tracks, but at the time one only had a torch and ropes …

We did the “Discovery Trail”, but you can also walk a longer route and even have an introduction to caving. You will be accompanied by experienced guides and can make a reservation via the website: https://www.grottamontecucco.umbria.it

The Discovery Trail you can do without a reservation. In June and September on Saturdays and Sundays and in July and August every day, at 10 am and at 3 pm. At the parking lot is a information kiosk from where a guide leaves for the caves. Also read the instructions on the cave’s web site underneath the price list.

We had problems to find the place, but in the end, it’s easy to find. About halfway the village of Sigillo is a road up the mountain. Somewhat hidden is a brown sign that points to the Monte Cucco. Go up the mountain and keep driving. If you’re near the top, there is a road to the right which you do not take but keep following the same road up and you’ll arrive at the parking lot.

Umbria Blog | Bike trail Passignano sul Trasimeno

This Friday morning I thought the weekly market was in Passignano sul Trasimeno. From Castiglione del Lago, the small hamlet where I live, Passignano is only 20 km away. The bike tour along the lake also is an ideal track if you like running longer distances. I decided to take my bike and go to Passignano.

Bike Trail Trasimeno

The road is very easy and flat. Now that Autumn has started the temperatures are quite pleasant to bike or run.

In the beginning I thought I’d be alone along the Trasimeno Lake, but I did meet some other fellow bikers. I have a mountainbike which is easy cycling on mud and sandy trails, but these people passed by with normal bicycles.

It is a wonderful track from Castiglione del Lago to Passignano sul Trasimeno. Almost the whole way you’re driving along the lake. Now and than you find some obstacles, but you can avoid easily drive around it. First you pass Borghetto, and than Tuoro sul Trasimeno with a cosy picknick area to enjoy the views.

Bike Trail Trasimeno

Arriving in Passignano sul Trasimeno I hunkered for the market stalls with fresh fruit and vegetables to take home for my lunch. But I had been dreaming… on Friday there is no market, it is on Saturday morning! I made a small walk through the historical centre and I bought some bread. Passignano sul Trasimeno is a lovey village. One finds many terraces, shops, a butcher, a bakery and a fresh pasta shop.

Pasta shop in Passignano sul Trasimeno

Majolica shop in Passignano sul Trasimeno

Trasimeno Lake Umbria

On my way back I have recorded the track and the km counting with my navigation watch. The bike trail is fine both for trained and un-trained cyclists. You really do not need a mountainbike, you can also use a normal bike. A helmet is not required. You can follow the signs easily. The trail is surely recommended for bike lovers!

Bike Trail Trasimeno

Bike Trail Trasimeno

Bike Trail Trasimeno