Paciano, one of Italy's best hamlets

Paciano, one of Italy's best hamlets

2 minutes to read

Paciano is a town in Umbria, Italy, it sits at 391 meters above sea-level, and it is yet another of those villages overlooking the Trasimeno lake that travelers should not miss out on. Paciano is included in “Italy’s best hamlets list” and, despite a limited territory, boosts a number of qualities which will not leave visitors disappointed. 

Getting to the hamlet you won’t really figure out how it looks or how its buildings and houses are, and that is because of the six-hundred meter long, seven-hundred year old walls that surround and protect the city. The walls were erected in the 1300s, a century after Paciano got its last development of the city plan. Its typical fan-shaped structure, with three main parallel streets and alleys connecting them, was, in fact, put in place in the 1200s, and hasn’t been changed since. What you will notice approaching Paciano will be its towers. Eight of them, emerging out of the walls.

Photo credits © iStock/viti
Photo credits © iStock/viti

Once in the village you can visit The Don Aldo Rossi Museum which houses the ancient municipal banner, a canvas dated to 1450 with the Madonna delle Grazie from Benedetto Bonfigli's workshop, as well as  Etruscan and Roman findings, furnishings and vestments. You also have the chance to participate in workshops in local crafts and arts like drawing, ceramics, and textiles at TrasiMemo, a privately funded learning space inside Palazzo Baldeschi. The municipality is included in a beautiful natural area, that of Monte Pausillo, easily reachable on foot, by bike and ideal for hikes and walks with a view.

Along with the many other villages and hamlets of the area, Paciano’s medieval history was filled with battles and tension and changes in power: the modern village was born in 1300 around the feudal castle, then in 1373 it was donated, along with another near-by village, by Charles IV to the Count of Tuscany William of Beaufort, nephew of Pope Clement V. This "Tuscan" period lasted only 3 years. In 1416, Paciano was handed over to the commander Braccio da Montone who reconstructed the castle. The village then passed to the Holy State and the city of Perugia. Somebody tried to occupy the village and take it from the Church in 1643, but the troops of Prince Mathias, brother of the Grand Duke of Tuscany Ferdinando II, managed to hold it just for a brief time, eventually falling to the more powerful army of the Papacy.  In 1798 Paciano finally broke from the Holy State.

Photo credits © iStock/AlessandraScena
Photo credits © iStock/AlessandraScena

In this village there are less than one-thousand inhabitants and the most relevant activity is the olive oil production and the activities it brings along with it; from the hills around comes a high-quality extra virgin olive oil, appreciated on tables all over the world for its aroma, taste and organoleptic properties; it  has always been present in life in the village and it has obtained the DOP recognition. In Paciano you can find a landscape that is both natural and strongly human, which still retains its rural connotation. Here you'll find an expression of the relationship between the present and the inherited forms of the past; rich in memories, artistic heritage and peculiar landscape features.

Cover photo credits © wikipedia.org/LigaDue

The author

Federico Spadoni

Federico Spadoni

I am Federico, I was born and raised in Italy. Sport and news fanatic and active volunteer. I am currently living in Athens, Greece. I write about the central parts of Italy.

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