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Forte di Montegualandro

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Forte di Montegualandro, which stands in a dominant position on a hill 450 metres above sea level, is a fortification that has been coveted by many and that over the centuries has played a very important role in the Trasimeno area.

Its construction seems to date back to the Etruscan era, when the people built it to protect themselves from enemy offensives. The Fortress and the surrounding territory are also known to have been the scene of the bloody battle of Trasimeno, fought in 217 BC among the troops led by Hannibal and those led by the Roman consul Flaminio; the latter fell victim to the war along with many other Roman soldiers who fell during the ambush.

According to some scholars, the name Montegualandro may be traced back to the Greek term gala, which means milk, given the abundant quantities of milk produced by the flocks in this region.

Numerous clashes ensued for the possession of the fortress between the populations of Perugia and those of the neighbouring Tuscan towns.

The castle was in fact owned by many prominent personalities and families over the centuries, such as the marquis Uguccione II, Federico Barbarossa, the Ranieri marquises, the Montemelini, the Tarlati and Ferdinando II de’ Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany and was visited by influential personalities in the world of art and literature, such as Byron, Goethe and Hawthorne. Currently the fortress and the entire complex cannot be visited because the military fortification has become a private property and today it is a luxury noble residence.

It is still interesting, however, to admire the building from the outside, to contemplate the imposing walls, the lush vegetation and the marvellous panorama that can be enjoyed of the surrounding territory of Lake Trasimeno.

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