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A tough route from the Tiber Valley to Lake Trasimeno

Test your true grit on the hills that border Lake Trasimeno

from 90€ Per person
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Birdwatching in Umbria, on the shores of Lake Trasimeno

Discover birdwatching in Umbria by visiting the natural oasis on Lake Trasimeno.

from 50€ Per person
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Etruscan Umbria – From Corciano to the underground tomb of the Volumni family

Discovering the Etruscans. The first stage of the itinerary in search of the great Necropolis

from 70€ Per person
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Food and wine tour to discover Trasimeno wines

The food and wine tour discovering the wines of the Lake Trasimeno hills.

105€ Per person
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From Panicale towards the hills of Perugia

From the shores of lake Trasimeno, setting off from one of the most beautiful villages and heading out towards Perugia’s hills

from 70€ Per person
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On a MTB between Umbria and Tuscany with a tour of 3 lakes

From Lake Trasimeno towards the Tuscan lakes of Chiusi and Valdichiana.

from 70€ Per person
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Short SUP excursion at Lake Trasimeno

A Stand Up Paddling excursion for a unique view of Lake Trasimeno!

80€ Per person
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SUP excursion on Lake Trasimeno

An unusual perspective of the Lake with the SUP on Lake Trasimeno 

130€ Per person
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The hills of Lake Trasimeno by MTB

Up and down the hills around Lake Trasimeno.

from 50€ Per person
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Tour of Lake Trasimeno by MTB

Cycle along the shores of Lake Trasimeno on a MTB with this fantastic tour.

from 70€ Per person
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Trekking in Umbria, The ring of the Penna Mountains

Trekking in Umbria, on the mountains that surround Lake Trasimeno, at low altitudes but with endless views

from 90€ Per person
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Trekking on the Trasimeno hills towards the leaning tower

Trekking towards the leaning tower that stands out in the woods, in the magical setting of the Trasimeno hills.

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Discover Piegaro

Discover Piegaro with us 

If you are planning a trip or embarking on an adventure to discover Umbria, you shouldn’t miss the charming village of Piegaro. Located in the province of Perugia in a predominantly hilly area that flanks the course of the river Nestore, the village has just over 3500 inhabitants and over the centuries it has enjoyed a very favourable geographical position.

The first human settlements in this area date back to the prehistoric period and its verdant hills welcomed villages and were a safe home for the indigenous people until the advent of the Etruscan peoples, who settled definitively in the territory in the 9th century B.C. and imposed their hegemony upon it. Piegaro was then conquered by the Romans who, in 290 BC, established a proper fortified settlement. The period of splendour experienced under the period of Roman domination ended, however, with the arrival of the Vandals and the Longobards, who sacked the city and completely altered all its social, political and economic equilibrium, imposing a regime of slavery. A tyrannical, oligarchic feudalism followed until the 12th century after which it became part of the Duchy of Chiusi until 1601. After numerous struggles, Piegaro finally became a Free Commune, thus obtaining freedom from slavery and recovering its precious autonomy.

Among the activities most deeply rooted in the culture of Piegaro, and which have strongly contributed to the economic development of the village, is the art of glassmaking. Ancient documents reveal that this renowned activity developed in Piegaro as early as 1250 and that the glassworks experienced its most splendid and successful period in the 17th century. The sublime skill of the glassmakers, together with the wide availability of wood to be used as a combustible material, has meant that glass processing has continued over the centuries and up to the present day. The citizens of Piegaro specialized in the production of glass panes for windows, mosaic tiles, glasses, flasks and crystal ware. The mosaic tiles produced by the glassmakers of Piegaro were also chosen for their fine quality by the architect of Orvieto’s cathedral, who personally chose the best materials for the creation of his great work. These materials were also used for the decoration of other beautiful cathedrals. Over the years, the Piegaro glassworks has also won awards, such as the silver medal for merit at the Esposizione Industriale Italiana (Italian Industrial Exhibition), which was held in Florence in 1861. The art of glassmaking still thrives thanks to the Vetreria Cooperativa Piegarese which was founded in 1960. Its new factory is currently one of the most important in the Italian and European glass sector and has managed to continue Piegaro’s long and precious glassmaking tradition.

But glass production is not the only activity that is typical of the tradition and culture of this village; Piegarois also on the Strada del Vino Colli del Trasimeno (Wine Route) and the Strada dell’Olio Extravergine di Oliva DOP (Extra Virgin Olive Oil Route) due to the elegance and quality of its local food and wine products. They are the result of highly productive land worked with impassioned enthusiasm and offer unique and authentic flavours and aromas even for the most discerning palates.

Among the regular, unmissable annual events for the inhabitants of Piegaro and its visitors is the Sagra della Castagna e dei prodotti tipici (Festival of the chestnut and other typical products), which is now in its 31st year. The event, which takes place in the first half of October and lasts about ten days, is quite extensive and much anticipated, sweetening the palates and hearts of anyone who loves autumn and has a sweet tooth! The chestnut becomes the undisputed star of numerous tastings via delicious and appetizing dishes, from first courses to desserts, all skilfully prepared according to the deeply-rooted Umbrian culinary tradition. Chestnuts are elegantly enhanced in all manner of ways, and visitors can take part in interesting gastronomic displays, where they can sip a fine local wine in good company and relax with quality entertainment provided every evening by musicians and other performers, with a host of activities to keep children entertained as well!

Another important event organized in Piegaro is the Festival del Vetro (Glass Festival), which aims to promote the thousand-year-old, renowned and skilful tradition of glassmaking in the village. The Festival usually takes place at the Museo del Vetro at the end of May and lasts 3-4 days, focusing on the importance and various uses of glass. Seminars, workshops and courses are available for adults and children where the various glass processing techniques are put into practice and explained by master craftsmen at a national and international level. Participants can express their creativity and enjoy seeing how a piece of glasswork evolves and the infinite forms it can take. The event also includes historical, artistic, theatrical and literary insights concerning glass and various concerts will be held to entertain the participants.

Among the typical dishes of Piegaro, whose origin seems to date back to the Roman period, is the delicious speciality called torta al testo, a flatbread made of flour, water, olive oil, and salt that is named after the testo, a red-hot stone on which this ancient type of bread is cooked. Torta al testo can be enjoyed on its own or stuffed with cold cuts and vegetables.

Discover what to see in Piegaro 

The village of Piegaro will fascinate you with its numerous views to admire and contemplate at length, places that will take you back in time to the origins of the village.

You’ll see the striking, mighty grandeur of Castello di Cibottola, which stands on top of a hill and towers over the Nestore river valley. Its heptagonal tower, which has now become a civic tower, is one of the most symbolic and quintessential sites in Piegaro, together with the mighty bell located inside. It’s amazing to ponder the fact that religious icons like St Francis of Assisi and St Anthony of Padua as well as powerful military figures such as Braccio Fortebracci da Montone used to walk around the castle walls. You’ll see the impressive remains of the city walls and the long underground tunnel that ran through the city and was probably used as an escape route in the distant past.

The towering position of the Castle also provides exhilarating views; from its elevated position you’ll be able to see and marvel at the whole valley with its magnificent colours.

Inside the complex you can see the Chiesa di San Fortunato, which houses a marvellous painting, the Madonna con il Bambino (Madonna with Child) framed by 15 frescoed panels depicting the 15 Mysteries of the Rosary, and a Medieval Well dating back to the 13th century that was entirely dug by hand and was essential to the inhabitants for centuries since it represented the only water source in the village. Another ancient religious site in the upper part of the village is the Chiesa di San Silvestro Papa, containing numerous 16th century artworks, including a tribute to Pope Sylvester in the apse, “l’imperatore Costantino in ginocchio davanti a Papa Silvestro” (the Emperor Constantine on bended knee in front of Pope Sylvester) and a long-venerated wooden depiction of Christ. Other churches worth seeing include the Chiesa della Madonna della Crocetta which was the seat of the Confraternity of Crocetta and was widely venerated and embellished over the centuries by the master glassmakers in thanks for the protection they received from the Madonna during the insidious processes of glassmaking.

Next to this church, continuing up the steps, you’ll see the Medieval Well, built between the 12th and 13th centuries; you can just imagine the groups of women who washed for the whole family there or the animals that stopped to drink after long days spent grazing in the nearby hills.

The historic centre of Piegaro will also amaze you with one of the most elegant and significant buildings in the whole village, the Palazzo Misciattelli-Pallavicini. Once the municipio (town hall), it is now a prestigious period residence. Its construction dates back to the 18th century when it belonged to the Pallavicini family, which also owned the renowned Vetreria piegaresi glassworks.

Outside the historic centre, not far from the Castle of Cibottola on the lush green hills of Piegaro stand the ruins of a fascinating ancient site, the Convento Francescano di San Bortolomeo. It was here, surrounded by nature, that the devotees of St Francis and St Anthony of Padua spent time together with other great religious figures and different religious orders. It’s fascinating to see the remains of the convent and relive the solemn spirituality of the past.

Not far from Piegaro, inside the Castello di Cibottola stands the parish church erected in honour of San Fortunato.

Next to the church, the Hospital of Cibottola, also called ‘di San Fortunato’, was built around 1300 due to its proximity to the church of the same name.

The small church is very simple on the outside, but attractive, with a portal, a mullioned window and a rose window. The first written records attesting its presence date back to 1434, when it was listed at the Land Registry, but its construction is presumed to date back to before the year 1000.

Internally the church has a single nave, a barrel vault and groin vaults surmount the presbytery, while three pointed arches support the roof; the latter is achieved via the technique of exposed beams. In the high altar, dedicated to the Beata Vergine delle Grazie, you can admire the painting of the Madonna con il Bambino, created in 1944 by the Ligurian painter Giovanni Tronfi; a typically Umbrian landscape forms the background to the Madonna, showing in the distance on the left side the Castle of Cibottola and on the right the Franciscan Convent of San Bartolomeo.

This canvas is embellished with 15 square panels that frame it, with frescoes depicting the 15 Mysteries of the Rosary. The bays are frescoed with images of various saints and the church was once also adorned with several other paintings, also featuring a number of saints and the Madonna. There is also an ancient travertine font, and the baptismal font made of sandstone.

The Church San Fortunato in Piegaro has undergone several renovations over the centuries, with the most recent carried out in 1946, but its structure has not undergone any significant changes.

Currently the paintings are no longer present inside the church and it is only opened on the occasion of the Ascension or on special occasions agreed with the parish priest of Pietrafitta.

Among the most ancient sacred sites in the village of Piegaro is the Chiesa di San Silvestro Papa, a building presumed to date back to the period before the year 1000, but whose exact date of construction is not known. It is built on one of the highest points of the hill and has undergone numerous renovations, which, however, have not excessively altered its original appearance.

Indeed, the church still has its original layout, consisting of a rectangular Latin-cross plan with a single nave and a semi-circular apse. The original trussed ceiling was instead replaced by a vault, the altars were reduced in number from 7 to 5, but the internal structure was embellished with 14 columns with Corinthian capitals, which gave it a neoclassical style in the mid-19th century.

The first written records attesting to the existence of the parish date back to 1275.

Currently the church houses some significant 16th century works, such as the ‘Vergine con il Bambino tra San Sebastiano e San Rocco’, the ‘Vergine con il Bambino, San Francesco, San Sebastiano e Santa Margherita da Cortona’, and ‘S. Tommaso tra S. Pietro, S. Paolo, S. Cecili’ along with another saint whom the experts have not been able to identify. In the apse there is a beautiful painting depicting ‘l’imperatore Costantino in ginocchio davanti a Papa Silvestro’ (the emperor Constantine kneeling before Pope Sylvester), while in the rest of the church there are other depictions of the evangelists St. Mark, St. Matthew, St. John and St. Luke, images of Blessed St Paul, of ‘Sant’Antonio da Padova e Sant’Antonio abate’ and of the ‘Madonna del Buon Consiglio’. There is also a ‘Cristo ligneo’ (wooden Christ), which has been widely revered by the local community over the centuries.

On the road that leads to the village of Piegaro, stands the small but lovely Chiesa della Madonna della Crocetta.

Externally the church is simple in appearance, with a single entrance portal, a rose window in the centre of the facade and a bell gable.

The construction of the building dates back to the second half of the 15th century and became the seat of the Confraternità della Crocetta.

The coat of arms of the Confraternity is visible inside the church, as a decoration. It is represented by a small Greek cross, a symbol that can also be seen in the painting that embellishes the altar of the Church; the ‘Madonna with the Child’ portrayed presents the small Greek cross hung around the neck of the Virgin and clearly visible in order to point out the emblem to the faithful and to any other observer.

Internally the church has a nave ending with an apse; a barrel vault with lunettes in three bays with side ribbing overhangs the nave and a sacristy is situated to the left. There are also two small altars inside two niches in the central bay.

There are some beautiful frescoes in the church painted between the 16th and 17th centuries depicting the Assumption of the Virgin.

In 1851 and in the early 2000s, the church underwent renovation work that did not substantially modify its original splendour.

Although small, the church has been looked after and embellished by the inhabitants of Piegaro since its construction, when glassmakers began to collect sums of money to thank the Madonna for graces received and for having been protected from the risks and dangers arising during glass processing.

In the heart of Umbria, towering impressively over the entire Nestore river valley, stands the historic Castello di Cibottola.

The fortress is situated at an altitude of 471 metres in the village of Cibottola, part of the municipality of Piegaro and its prominent position gives visitors truly breath-taking views of the surrounding areas.

The most impressive and characteristic feature of the Castle is its heptagonal tower, which stands 20 metres high and has now become a civic tower; it houses a huge bell weighing 500 kg that was positioned within the tower in 1850 after it was donated by the rector of the University of Perugia, Pietro Tocchi. Some renovation work was carried out towards the end of the 20th century.

The construction of the castle, which is small in size, seems to date back to 1330 according to a certain legend, but other sources suggest to could date back to as early as the first half of the 9th century.

In the Middle Ages, the castle of Cibottola was often visited by important personalities in the military sphere, such as Braccio Fortebracci da Montone, and by representatives of monastic and religious orders, such as St Francis of Assisi and St Anthony of Padua.

The castle houses the Chiesa di San Fortunato and once there was also an ancient hospital.

The complex is now practically derelict and almost entirely privately owned. However, the door of the drawbridge, the entrance door and a good part of the perimeter walls with a corner tower are still clearly visible, and there is also an underground tunnel measuring some 500 metres in length.

Among the lush green woods above the rolling hills near the Castle of Cibottola stand the remains of the ancient Convento Francescano di San Bartolomeo

History has it that the convent was built between 1216 and 1226, on land that was donated to St Francis by the Abbazia dei Sette Fratelli located in Pietrafitta and by its Benedictine monks.

Built on behalf of the city of Perugia, the convent exhibits the style typical of the Franciscan religious movement; it is simple and humble yet at the same time it is clearly charming and graceful. It exudes the Franciscan authenticity and religious devotion that were once the heart and soul of the convent. Observing it from the outside, you can easily imagine the hours and hours spent by the friars in silent prayer and the atmosphere of spirituality and benevolence in which they lived.

A number of ancient records attest to the fact that important religious figures were hosted inside the Convent, such as St Francis, Beato Leopoldo, St Anthony of Padua, Friar Masseo da Marignano and others.

Over the centuries the convent was enlarged and was owned by the Conventuali, the Osservanti and the Riformati, and for a long period it was also the site of a novitiate.

The Convent was closed definitively in 1892 and unfortunately it is currently not possible to visit the structure for safety reasons; it is, in fact, in a derelict state and some parts of it have collapsed. Inside, there are some deteriorating remains of frescoes depicting religious figures.

The Museo del Vetro (Glass Museum) is an unmissable stopping off point in the village of Piegaro, boasting a long and precious tradition of glassmaking that dates from the Middle Ages to the present day.

It was inaugurated in 2009, but the building on which the museum stands is the site of the ancient glassworks, which remained operational until 1968.

In ancient times there were two different sections in the glass factory, but in the 19th century these were unified to facilitate the production process and currently the structure consists of three floors.

On the main floor there is the Sala delle Volte, one of the oldest areas in the building. Looking at the cross vaults, it is still possible to note their blackened appearance, caused by the fumes produced during the glass production process. The Sala del Forno, where the glass was worked is also interesting, as is the furnace heating system, consisting of a series of tunnels situated under the floor, along which the hot air passed. In the basement, you can see the striking sight of the solidification of the last glass pouring in the glassworks at the time of its closure.

The museum exhibits some of the many objects made over the last few centuries by the glassmakers of Piegaro, such as glasses, bottles, flasks and other beautiful artefacts that these skilled and highly-precise glass artisans created with immense passion and creativity thanks to the technique of glass blowing.

The building also hosts cultural events related to glass making, courses, workshops and demonstrations on the various techniques that have made Piegaro’s glassmakers true masters of this art.

Piegaro, or precisely the hamlet of Pietrafitta, is home to one of the most important paleontological collections in all of Europe, housed in the Museo Paleontologico ‘Luigi Boldrini’.

The museum was named after Luigi Boldrini, who personally found the lignite deposits, undertook to keep them safe on his own property before the museum was built, catalogued them and then gave them ‘new life’ by making them available to the scientific community and the wider world in general. He found thousands of fossils belonging to many animal species, such as fish, amphibians, birds, bears, rhinos and elephants, monkeys, turtles and several species of deer, including an unknown species and many more. Findings of seeds, leaves and shells were also included. These are preserved inside the museum, which is divided into three main sections: the first focuses on explaining the processes of fossilization and the formation of Pietrafitta’s main fossil coal, lignite. The second section also employs thematic panels to describe the remains of non-mammalian vertebrates and mammals, all of which well exhibited. Finally, a very precious collection of Mammoths, the Mammuthus Meridionalis, which lived in the geological era of the Lower Pleistocene, wraps up a very interesting visit to the museum. This last exhibition is composed of 8 almost complete skeletons, which were left in the exact position in which they were lying when they were discovered, thanks to some special, innovative techniques.

Experts from all over the world have declared the finds kept in Piegaro to be of inestimable value.

Unfortunately, the museum is currently closed to the public, but measures are under way to ensure it is reopened as soon as possible.

In the heart of Piegaro, heading along the road that during the medieval period led from Porta Perugina to the lowest part of the hill, it is possible to reach the Fonte medievale (Medieval Fountain), an important construction dating back to the period between the 12th and 13th centuries.

The ancient fountains are located next to the Chiesa della Madonna della Crocetta, precisely below the small staircase, and once had a dual function serving both the inhabitants and livestock; women at the time went to the fountains to wash clothing, but the waters were also used for drinking by  animals, which travelled long distances to return to the stables located inside the castle and after grazing down in the valley during the day .

The water is still drinkable and the fountains’ water troughs, which have recently been restored, are still in excellent condition.

An elegant 18th-century building stands in the heart of the historic centre of Piegaro: Palazzo Misciattelli-Pallavicini, one of the most important buildings in the village.

The palazzo was one of the properties owned by the Pallavicini family, who were of noble Roman lineage, and was a country residence. For a certain period, the Pallavicini played an important role in Piegaro, having purchased the important glassworks in Piegaro.

The palazzo was temporarily the seat of the municipio (Town Hall) after the Second World War and later became a prestigious period residence. It is currently possible to visit its frescoed rooms and private chapel subject to prior reservation.

If you fancy taking a walk in a lovely, picturesque location surrounded by greenery, then don’t miss out on Parco Rocolo; located next to Piazza Verneuil en Halatte, it offers visitors views of wonderful old trees and a pleasantly calm and peaceful environment. In the past, this public park was also known as Parco Misciattelli, due to its proximity to Palazzo Misciattelli-Pallavicini and was used by the lords of the Palazzo as a hunting reserve.

At the moment it is used as a public green area as well as a venue for small outdoor events.

Walking through the historic centre of the village of Piegaro and following the road that leads from Piazza del Comune to the pretty little Chiesa della Madonna della Crocetta, you’ll come across a picturesque and important medieval well. It is located inside Castello di Piegaro and its construction dates back to the 13th century. This hydraulic system was extremely important over the centuries as it was the only water source in the village and because of it, the population of the village were able to satisfy all their water supply requirements.

The medieval well, which is of considerable size, was created entirely via digging by hand.

Discover what to do in Piegaro 

Visiting Piegaro will definitely offer you some memorable moments, but if you want to learn more about one of the crafts that have characterized the village since the Middle Ages – the renowned art of glassmaking – then don’t miss the Museo del Vetro (Glass Museum), which stands on the site of Piegaro’s ancient glassworks. Inside, you’ll see the solid embodiment of the last glass casting that took place before the factory closed in 1968 and accounts of the old glass processing techniques can still be seen in its rooms, such as the Sala delle Volte and the Sala del Forno. Today the museum boasts exhibits of numerous refined artefacts created by the master glassmakers who brought fame to the village; admiring them right here is a fascinating experience!

If you are keen on history and fossils, a visit to the Museo Paleontologico “Luigi Boldrini” in the hamlet of Pietrafitta is an absolute must. According to experts from around the world, treasures of inestimable value for palaeontology are displayed here: you can see remains of lignite, fossils belonging to many species of mammalian and non-mammalian vertebrate animals, but above all you’ll be amazed by the remains of Mammoth skeletons. The exhibition is equipped with thematic explanatory panels.

In Piegaro you can also relax amongst the greenery by taking a walk in Parco Rocolo, once known as Parco Misciattelli due to its proximity to Palazzo Misciattelli-Pallavicini. The park, which was used by the lords of Piegaro as a hunting reserve, is located next to Piazza Verneuil en Harlatte where a Monument stands dedicated to workers and straw-makers. The park is home to numerous centuries-old trees and, like the recent Anfifeatro, hosts outdoor events.

If you love spending time outdoors and in nature, you can also venture out to the panoramic trails around Piegaro and enjoy some exciting trekking. You will be able to enjoy bike tours, mountain biking and horseback riding or recreational fishing at Lake Pietrafitta as well as admire the beauty of Valnestore, the Cibottola woods, Mount Montarale and enjoy the fascinating Sentieri del Perugino walking trails.

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