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.

Spring in Umbria

I am training for the Rotterdam marathon. I need to run long distances in this period. It is important that I follow my training schedule before running the marathon as well as eat and rest properly. With work and other responsibilities this is not always easy but I like it and I love running.

The winter months in Umbria were cold and wet and I do not like running at all in these conditions. I’m the typical good weather addict. Especially when the infamous “tramontana” comes up it is hard to get out of the door for a run. The tramontana is a strong and cold wind from the Alps and Apennines. This wind almost blows you away! There is nobody taking “a stroll” along the lake, only a few kite surfers who love flying and surfing on the lake.

A couple of weeks ago it felt like Spring. I was in Tuoro sul Trasimeno and I ran a big part of the famous route of “Hannibal”. This route is about 8-9 km. In this area Hannibal fought against the Romans in 217 before Christ and won the battle. Who doesn’t know Hannibal? He was the man who crossed the Alps with his elephants.

This route is amazing! You can also walk there or go by bike. Here you find the directions.

At home in Castiglione del Lago I saw people having lunch outside on a terrace from the restaurant “La Cantina”. From there you have a stunning view over the lake. It is pleasant eating outside for lunch, now that the temperatures are getting warmer and without the tramontana.

We all look forward to the Summer!

Castiglione-del-Lago LagoTrasimeno

– Posted by Sylvia van der Male –