Park of Lake Trasimeno

Park of Lake Trasimeno

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General information

How to reach the park
By train: Railway line Milan-Florence-Rome: Railway station of Castiglione del Lago, Terontola, connection to Perugia, Foligno, stops at Tuoro, Passignano, Magione.
Railway line Ancona Rome: Arrival at the station of Foligno, connection to Perugia-Terontola, stops at Magione, Passignano, Tuoro.
By car, From North: Motorway Autostrada del Sole (A1), Exit Valdichiana, slip road Perugia - Bettolle.
From South: Motorway Autostrada del Sole (A1), Exit Chiusi-Chianciano Terme, road to Chiusi Scalo, Po' Bandino, S.S. 71 (Orvieto - Arezzo), Castiglione del Lago.
By bus, Perugia P.zza Partigiani, railway station Fontivegge, Magione, Sant'Arcangelo, Castiglione del Lago and back.
Perugia P.zza Partigiani, Magione, San Savino,San Feliciano, Passignano, Tuoro and back.
Nearest airports: Airport of Perugia Sant'Egidio, transfer to Perugia and then by bus or train.

How to reach the islands
The shipping line is run by the APM (Azienda Perugina della Mobiltā) and has daily journeys from Passignano, Tuoro and Castiglione del Lago to the Isola Maggiore and from San Feliciano to the island Polvese on its timetable.
That man has settled permanently around the Lake Trasimeno and on its islands since the prehistoric period is a consolidated fact today. Indeed, tools made of splintered and faced stone have been found in some zones: on the west shore on the territory of Castiglione del Lago, on the north shore near Borghetto (Tuoro sul Trasimeno), on the east shore near Monte del Lago and San Saviano (Magione), as well as on the Isola Polvese (Castiglione del Lago). In spite of these foundings and the constant research of the second half of the 19th century for traces of settlement that can be traced back to this period nothing has been found which could have been collegated to the presence of lake-dwellings on the shores of the lake.
Park_of_Lake_Trasimeno_17 But this does not have to surprise us. The possible traces of lake-dwelling have been "wiped out" by the lake; its continuously varying water level has caused a shoreline which has fostered during the centuries the complete decay of wooden materials which may have been there. Traces of human presence in the protohistoric period were found in the zone of Castiglione del Lago, where at Carraia near Panicarola between the sixties and the seventies of the 20th century has been discovered a pre-Villanovan necropolis. Around 1970 also near Tuoro have come to surface tombs of this period. At the middle of the nineties of the past century has come to surface pottery which can be ascribed to the same age in the zone of San Savino, near the effluent of the Lake Trasimeno. In this case, too, the traces of settlement are lacking like those of the prehistoric period, but nevertheless one thing is to be taken for sure: not only there must have been these settlements, but already in this period man knew how to take advantage of the potential offered by the lake. The economy was based on the three main factors of the zone: fishing, which probably was carried out with the same tools with which the men hunted on the woody hills around the lake, hunting and primitive forms of agriculture, which probably were exercised in this lakeside zone free of forests.
The permanent presence of man is for sure better documented for the Etruscan and the Roman period. Sanctuaries, sepulchral areas, but also settlements have been discovered almost everywhere, on the islands as well as in the shore zone. Evidently already in this period, whatever the Lake Trasimeno was able to offer has been completely taken advantage of, also concerning defense. The hills around, where the tilled land expanded slowly, offered shelter for communities more or less organized, which in some way created important settlements. When the Etruscans, who came from west, completed their conquest of the zone arriving at Perugia around the 5th century B.C., the territory of the Lake Trasimeno probably was not savage, but on the contrary must have had a certain development, the nature of which is not ponderable, at least not at the present moment of research. Beyond all that remains the fact, that with the Etruscan conquist the Lake Trasimeno entered in a new phase, which was characterized by a general acceleration of the commercial and economic dynamics. These had some consequences for the whole settlement layout, with the creation of new settlements and the cult places, of which we have many evidences around the lake, on the territories of the towns that gave onto the lake: Perugia, Chiusi and Cortona. The same utilization of the lake area from the agricultural point of view seems to enter in a phase of strong expansation of the tilled land with a predominance of the wine-growing. The following historical period, which began with the entrance of Etruria in the Roman world aroung the 3rd century B.C., is marked also in this area with the construction and development of the country-houses with agricultural production. Even if this development was brusquely interrupted by the battle between Hannibal and Gaius Flaminius (217 B.C.), it ended up by characterizing the whole territory and to the few structures that had come to the surface were added a big number of those of which exist several clues. In the middle of the Roman period the lake not only constituted a very important feed tank, but seems to have been communication routes between the settlements situated close to the lake or not far from its shores. The inhabitants of these settlements applied themselves to the piscatory activity, hunting, agricultura and sheep-breeding. These were indeed the leading economic factors of the zone. If the abundance of fish in the lake and of the bird population was emphasized already by Strabo the by this time well-established agriculture is attested in the Tabula cortonensis, where we find also the most antique evidence of the name of the lake, Tarsminas, which reflects how this name appears in the most antique sources: Trasimenus , Trasumenus , Trasumennus and Tarsumennus. While as for the sheep-breeding the archeological finds witness somehow its more or less diligent practising and probably it was carried out in the woods and on the uncultivated areas between those. With the coming of Christianity, to which a strong increasement of the demand for fish is put down to, the Lake Trasimeno entered in a new phase that was marked by a progressive growing of the piscatory activity. The zone's remarkable distance from the sea made it - together with the Chiana - one of the main fish fauna tanks of the big territory between the Apennines and the Monte Amiata. The market places where the local fish was sold in the Late Middle Ages give evidence of this fact. In the late antiquity and in the first centuries of the Middle Ages also at the Lake Trasimeno the effects of the heavy crisis, which marked the entire period, were perceptible.
Park_of_Lake_Trasimeno_18 But here, contrary to other zones, the effects of this crisis were somehow dulled by the necessity to keep alive the whole area, which is - as it is known - a borderline between the Lombards on the west shore and the Byzantines on the east shore. This expressed itself in the construction of small fortresses, which could guarantee somehow the defense of the borders and before all of the still existing structures for agricultural production. Therefore it is not a case that already the day after the defeat of the Lombards by the Frankish the town Perugia payed particular attention to the Lake Trasimeno, an attention that led to its definite anexion to the territorial jurisdiction of Perugia at the end of the 12th century. The entrance of the whole lake basin area into the jurisdiction of Perugia marked another moment of turning in its history, which from this period on characterized by what the lake and its territory in the east up to the marshes of the Chiana, the so called "Chiugi Perugino" represented for Perugia. Indeed, the town put into effect ways of systematic exploitation of both of them, and so making them to impressive economic resources. The construction of the fountain Fonte di Piazza at Perugia, the gem and pride of 13th century Italian arts, was financed to a great deal with the proceeds of the fishing right contracts. In the same way many of the fortified structures, which had been built on the whole territory of Perugia, and some military campaigns led by the town, had with the contracts for these rights and for those concerning the big company, run at the "Chiugi Perugino" by the commune, its main financial source. The town took so much advantage of these goods that it is legittimate to state how much its power, which was for sure quite remarkable in the communal period, was based just on them. It's not a case that in the first verses of the inscription on the Fonte di Piazza the protection of these two properties is invoked, which constituted the town's main communities. And Perugia protected well the lake and the Chiugi, increasing the net of small fortresses around the first one and turning Castiglione del Lago into the impressive fortress, which shows still today all its defensive potential. So the relations between the town and this part of its country developed in this direction and it is not a case that the decline of Perugia's power in the second half of the 14th century coincided with a diminuishing productivity of the Chiugi and with the passing of the administration of the Lake Trasimeno to the Church from 1424.
Park_of_Lake_Trasimeno_19 The vegetable communities that live in the park of the Lake Trasimeno are conditioned in their disposition above all from factors like the depth of the waters and the degree of imbibition of the ground, and only secondarily from climatic factors. Departing from the dry land and proceeding toward the centre of the lake, we can distinguish so the following concentric belts of vegetation, that alternate gradually with the environment's becoming more evidently aquatic: WOODS, DAMP LAWNS, REED, EMERGING HYDROPHYTES, UNDER WATER HYDROPHYTES. It must be underlined that not all the belts are present along the whole lake perimeter. The faunistic patrimony of the Lake Trasimeno is very rich and articulated and an exhaustive description of it would bequite arduous. A great number of animals, above all birds, that represent the most remarkable component of the zoocenosis, find here shelter and food.
The Lake Trasimeno, in fact, is situatied in a strategic position along the migration course of many species living in the damp zones, which stop here for restoring the necessary energetic reserves for the continuation of their flight.
Sports acivities
"Strasimeno" - The association Ente Parco del Trasimeno organizes in collaboration with the coastal communes of Castiglione del Lago, Magione, Panicale, Passignano and Tuoro sul Trasimeno, the "Gruppo Sportivo Filippide" from Castiglione del Lago, and the "Atletica AVIS Perugia" from Perugia, the "Strasimeno - Ultramarathon in the Lake Trasimeno Park", an annual event since 2002, sponsored by the region of Umbria, the province of Perugia and the Comunitā Montana Monti del Trasimeno. It is an international event that has the aim to relaunch a sport, which allows to exalt the background of the lake and its surroundings respecting at most the union between man and nature.
In the last years there was a remarkable increase of the popularity of this sport, approached mainly by those who felt the necessity to move away from the effects of the technological progress and wanted to apply in their leisure time to this sport, at direct contact with nature, a very important element. Running is a discipline "SPORT FOR EVERYBODY", because it is accessible to everybody and can be practised at any age.
The "STRASIMENO - Ultramarathon in the Lake Trasimeno Park" respects of course the combination environment/sport, fostering the environmental knowledge and enhancing the natural and artistic-cultural beauties of the lake and fostering educational activities in respect of nature. For sure it meets entirely the aim to combine sports with tourism, indeed many runners take advantage of certain events to visit different places. Today exist even specialized agencies that manage high rank marathons, where one can apply to in order to participate at the races. At these competitions can participate the passing tourist as well as who remains in the area for a longer time.
The route of the Strasimeno covers the entire circumnavigation of the Lake Trasimeno (60 km with intermediate finishing posts) and it offers remarkable landscape sceneries to the participants, enhancing the natural beauties of the lake. Runners and their attendants have so the possibility to learn to know and to appreciate the Lake Trasimeno and its surroundings where they find a natural and healthy environment for their holidays.
The area of the Lake Trasimeno is characterized by a climate with a strong mediterranean impront, which makes it milder compared to the neighbouring zones.
The mediterranean climatic influences, which come from the western part of the region, bring about a prolonged period of aridity, which is not exceedingly intense, and a short period of moderate cold.
The area is marked by an average annual temperature of about 12-13 degrees Celsius, a period of aridity of about 30-40 days, the average winter minimum temperatures are above zero, although in December, January and Feburary can happen frost, few precipitations with its minimum just on the water level. According to the bioclimatic map of Umbria (Orsomanno et al., 1999) the territory turns out to be part of the hilly submediterranean and low-hilly bioclimatic level, only the highest points can be ascribed to the high-hilly bioclimatic level.

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