Not that I understood these (but I am very much dumb when it comes to modern sculptures and the “messages”, the artists want to tell). But some of these are very nice. I am talking about Campo del Sole at Tuoro’s harbour. These 28 sculptures, arranged in a circle, are meant to show parts of the Hannibal battle and were created by national and international artists between 1985 and 1989. I tried to find meanings but I failed. I liked the big bird (main photo) though.
There is a parking lot next to it, quite huge, and it seems that it is meant for the people who have boats in the harbour. In April 2008, there was no one in the little cashier box, but from May to October, they have parking fees.
Who does not know famous Battle of Lake Trasimeno where Hannibal and his troops defeated the legions of Roman consul Flaminius, the same who gave his name to Via Flaminia. It was here, in 217 B.C., in the hills of the lake’s northwestern shore, west of Tuoro. It is a bit difficult to find, because there are not many signs. Drive on the main road, pass Tuoro and stop in the curve which leads north to Arezzo. There is a small parking and a kiosk which is most probably opened in summer (it was not in April 2008). A big board shows and explains the four theories of Hannibal’s attacks and the battleground. The view over the lake from here is fantastic, don’t miss this over all the battle things. And on the other side of the street I found my “dream meadow”: colourful wildflowers, including bright red poppies and some old knotted olive trees, very picturesque. There is a path, 4 km, leading around the battlefield, but I didn’t go, as I was already too late and felt I had enough of “visual schoolbook history”.
I stopped in Passignano to have some snack and to relax a bit at the lake shore. And I really liked it. However, given the huge parking lot (in the east of town), with huge marked space for busses as well and the many restaurants and bars and kiosks I think it must be quite packed with people in summer. The esplanade is inviting with many benches and wonderful views. Boats leave to the two islands and the houses look a bit like the typical “rich” villas in nothern Italy’s lake villages. I also found the sculpture near the shore quite interesting, so out of place somehow (planes in a lake), until I found out that this is a memorial to the first Italian school for waterplane pilots. Passignano was once seat of a famous plane company, Ambrosini. Oh, and the village twins with Eltville, a lovely wine village just around the corner of where I live. Next time I am there I will check if there are any signs for this partnership.
I was here by car, because I wanted to explore the region around the lake. However, the main villages around Lago Trasimeno are connected to the train system: Magione, Passignano, Tuoro are all accessible by train from Perugia and Castiglione is accessible via Roma, Orvieto and the western train lines.
If you come by car and are not in a hurry, try to avoid the autostrada by all means. I took it back to Bevagna (where I stayed) and it was the pure horror: full with trucks and the usual chaotic Italian traffic.
The southeastern part of the lake is very picturesque, relatively flat landscape (near the lake, the hills start in the distance) and cute little villages with hilltop villages. I cannot say anything about approaching from the other sides, but coming from southeast, it was a really exciting feeling to drive and drive and suddenly, after I passed a little hill, this huge flat lake was lying in front of me, so peaceful :-)
Beautiful, colourful ceramics on display - which tempted me to buy a beautiful jug for my country house - and this is where I found the little owl I always buy with me home when travelling.
Nice and smiling service in the shop made my day.