Castel Rigone, the highest point on Lake Trasimeno
If you are looking for the most amazing view of Lago di Trasimeno "a veil of water stretched out over a meadow", as art historian Cesare Brandi put it, then climb to the highest point of the lake, Castel Rigone. Found in the hamlet of Passignano, 650 metres away, in a charming medieval village. One of Umbria's Renaissance masterpieces, the Sanctuary of Maria Santissima dei Miracoli, has been a place of popular devotion for centuries and is preserved within its walls.
Nowadays, it draws those who prefer an idyllic countryside.
The village of miracles
Castel Rigone is believed to have been founded by a commander of the Ostrogoths, Arrigo, in the year 543, as an outpost for the siege of Perugia. To this day, a festival of the Barbarians is celebrated in the village to commemorate the Ostrogothic foundation. The present-day village dates from the Middle Ages and remains nearly intact.
Over recent decades, many of its buildings have been transformed into holiday homes. Founded by the people of Perugia during the 1494 outbreak of plague, the Sanctuary was inspired by that of Madonna del Calcinaio in Cortona.
With its many agritourism sites, Castel Rigone is a destination for those who appreciate local products, from the oil and wine of the Trasimeno hills to the specialities of lake fish and the Trasimeno bean.
Within easy reach is Magione, a village guarded by the castle that still belongs to the Knights of Malta, with the church of San Giovanni Battista, decorated with frescoes by the Perugian futurist painter Gerardo Dottori.