START AND ARRIVAL: PACIANO OR FONTANARO
GPS LOCATED AT: 43.02261179555702, 12.060284614562988
HEIGHT DIFFERENCE: 850 METRES
SURFACE: 70% DIRT, 30% SEALED
WHAT TO SEE: PACIANO, CITTÀ DELLA PIEVE, PANICALE, MONTE PAUSILLO
THIS ROUTE,WHICH GOES THROUGH THE WESTERNMOST PART OF UMBRIA, CAN BE CLASSIFIED AS MEDIUM-HARD BECAUSE OF ITS HEIGHT DIFFERENCE (850M), BUT IT IS ALSO VERY SATISFACTORY FROM A NATURALISTIC AND CULTURAL POINT OF VIEW BECAUSE IT GOES BY VILLAGES OF GREAT INTEREST SUCH AS PACIANO (MEMBER OF THE BORGHI PIÙ BELLI D’ITALIA CLUB), CITTÀ DELLA PIEVE AND PANICALE.
The start is from the centre of Paciano in Piazza della Repubblica, where the trail descends downhill. Leaving the sealed road, it turns into a dirt road which goes under the railway and the main highway before returning to the sealed road below Villastrada.
It continues straight ahead up the short climb towards the “Le Coste” estate and after a quick descent, it meets the SS 71 at km 11,1 where it turns right towards Chiusi.
The trail soon leaves the main road (km 11,4) and turns left up the first climb of the route: a wonderful dirt road first through the woods, then through fields and grapevines to San Litardo, where it picks up the SS 71 Nord and continues its climb towards Città della Pieve.
At Città della Pieve, a town of etrusco-roman origins, it is worth stopping at km 18,5 for a visit to the historical centre. From here the trail goes towards the sports ground and continues along a rather uneven dirt road after the sealing ends.
At the bottom of the descent , it goes along a narrow valley until it crosses over the SP309 (km 24), into the dirt road on the other side and begins the second, hardest climb of the route.
The first 200 metres are very steep and rocky and may cause bikers to dismount , but the rest is not as rough. It continues through the woods for several kilometres , but towards the summit, the forest opens out onto breath-taking views that can reach as far as Mt. Abetone on clear days.
The climb ends just a few metres from the top of Mt. Pausillo (km 29,5) where the trail starti descending towards Paciano. After a short deviation along a narrow, exciting single track, it returns to the main dirt road leading back to Paciano in a few kilometres.
What to see
THE WHOLE AREA AROUND LAKE TRASIMENO IS OF GREAT INTEREST. THE LAKE IS 126 SQ.KMS, MAKING IT ITALY’S FOURTH LARGEST, AND IT IS PROTECTED AS A REGIONAL PARK. ITS ROUNDED SHAPE, GENTLE HILLS, OLIVE GROVES AND CULTIVATED FIELDS MAKE IT A NATURAL ATTRACTION AND A FAVOURITE DESTINATION FOR FOREIGN TOURISTS.
The start and arrival of the route is at Castigione del Lago, the main centre of the lake area and a beautiful town to visit. The historical heart is surrounded by medieval walls and three gateways and beautiful views over the lake can be seen.
Leone, a pentagonal medieval fortress, one of the best examples of military architecture in the region, Palazzo della Corgna, an estageant Renaissance aristocratic residence built by Ascanio della Corgna In 1560 to plans created by Vignola or Galeazzo Alessi.
At Tuoro, not far from the start, is the “Battle of Lake Trasimeno” historical route, which reconstructs the battle between the Romans and the Carthaginians in 217 B.C., when the Romans were soundly beaten by Hannibal’s army.
Passignano is also worth visiting, as it has preserved many of the characteristics of an ancient fortified village protected by walls and a fortress. The church of San Cristoforo, the 15th century church of San Rocco, the church of San Bernardino and the Oratorio di San Rocco are also interesting. Don’t miss a trip on the boat to visit the Maggiore and Polvese islands.
The Castle of the Knights of Malta at Magione is one of the most beautiful in Umbria. It has a square shape with circular towers at the corners. The present building is the result of the enlargement of an earlier castle that was built over an ancient 12th century Benedictine abbey, where the Knights Templar are thought to have resided, and an early hospice founded in the 12th century by the Knights of Jerusalem.
Around the lake, it is worth visiting the ancient villages of Castel Rigone, Montecolognola and Monte del Lago, where there is a beautiful view of the lake, the old fishing villages of San Feliciano and Sant’Arcangelo, and the hamlets nestling amongst the hills between Tuscany and Umbria, such as Gioiella, Villastrada, and San Fatucchio.