Trasimeno lake is definitely a place to spend some time while visiting Central Italy and Umbria. Here on Itinari I have already talked about it, but I'll quickly remind you the lake is the largest of the area, has great biodiversity, offers many activities thanks to Trasimeno's nature and beaches, and hosts many hamlets and villages all around its perimeter. Monte del Lago is one of those villages, located halfway around the lake’s east shore, it has that typical medieval look so common in this territory, and has always had the reputation of being the most inspiring one.
The hamlet is entirely surrounded by walls, has a fan shape, and is cut in half by the main steep (pedestrian only) street, which runs from the entrance of the town down to the lake shore. Along this road there are beautiful stone-built buildings in which you'll find the few shops, restaurants, and accommodation. The walk-through Via della Strage is impressive: the lake just opens up in front as all around, you have coloured stone buildings, cobble streets, and flowers at the windows. About halfway down you can turn right and check out what remains of part of the old fortifications. The village in fact, had been the lake’s government “headquarters” for centuries and therefore had to be highly protected. The simple St. Andrea church is also worth a visit, for its frescoes dating back to the 1400's, as well as Villa Palombaro Schnabl, named after a musician, which hosted many artists in the 20th Century, and Villa Pompilj. The latter does not stand out for its artistic value, but rather for the story of two people who lived here; Guido Pompilj and Vittoria Agnoor, husband and wife. He was a congressman in the newly formed Italian parliament, while she was among the most prominent poets during the so called Belle Époque (1870's-1910's). Nine years after the marriage, Vittoria was diagnosed with cancer. She and her doctors fought hard against it, but she couldn't survive a second surgery. Guido couldn't stand the pain. He killed himself on the same day, 7th of May 1910. The event shocked the country -the couple was at the centre of Italy's cultural, social, and political sphere and such events were rare at the time - and their story quickly became a popular tale.
Monte del Lago’s connection with arts was very strong. Among Italian painters, poets, writers, and musicians, many decided to spend time here while working on their visions. Italian composer Puccini and, obviously, poet Vittoria Agnoor Pompilj are the two most famous. From their quotes we can understand that what was bringing them here was the special sense of peace and quiet, for which they were thanking the lake and its inhabitants.
Monte del Lago is an inspiring spot for many reasons: its unique and lucky location, its use throughout time and history, which helped in preserving many buildings and houses, its famous visitors, which never forgot about this place and always remembered it with nice words, and its outstanding views and surroundings. It remains one of those villages somehow forgotten by international and local visitors which is just waiting for some motivated travellers to come to check it out and spread the word.
Video Credits © Kris Permentier
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