Isola Maggiore

Isola Maggiore, Tuoro sul Trasimeno: Address, Phone Number, Isola Maggiore Reviews: 4/5

Isola Maggiore
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4.0
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Peter S
Rome, Italy3,138 contributions
Isola Maggiore – pleasure of scale, shaded walking, lake views and the people/history in context.
Aug 2019
Isola Maggiore, Lago Trasimeno, Umbria

Lago Trasimeno is half-way along the Italian peninsular – about mid-way between Rome and Firenza – and generally considered the fourth largest lake in the country at 124 km2 surface area and perimeter 50 km. There are bike and walking trails that follow the lake shore for those interested but, for us, there simply wasn’t the time available. In addition, we had small kids in tow and ambient temperatures mid-summer mid-year had been in the high 30s degC, and there was more than sufficient interest in the geography, history and social development of the local people to keep us busy for the week.
There’s more too - Lago Trasimeno is in Umbria with all those gorgeous tourist/culinary pleasures/images typical of the lake and surrounding towns and countryside. Italy at its best.
Lago Trasimeno has three islands: Isola Polvese – the largest at 70 ha – Isola Maggiore (the only one with a permanent population) 24 ha and Isola Minore – privately owned – not open to Mario Rossi (aka ‘Joe Public’). The history of the lake and the islands encompasses the Etruscans, the Romans and the Umbrian people – Ombri/Ombrii – one of the ancient Italic peoples who date back >3,000 years. It was the Romans who eventually dominated, settling and incorporating the region into their greater empire (as they were to do across much of the Europe of the day).
Our second visit to Isola Polvese – this time we took the ferry from Passignano. We nearly missed it too, leaving barely time to find somewhere to park close to the terminus; last on board for the mid-day boat. It took little more than 20 minutes to cross to the island. Ten years ago (we figured), we’d taken the longer crossing from Castiglione del Lago – we were staying in the neighbourhood for a long weekend.
Short or longer ferry journeys … the island seemed much the same as before; easy, friendly, small, comfortable with mostly shaded walking around the perimeter of the island and across the centre – lots to see - pleasant experience. Cross the centre of the island and the trail climbs, but this is still easy walking and distances are short. Your circuit should take in the statue of St Francis that commemorates his celebration of Lent on the island 800 years ago. Then passed Villa Guglielmi (‘Isabelle Castle’) – a gorgeous rambling period structure dating from the late 1880s and built upon/around a convent and the Church of S. Francesco. The place is fenced and you can’t get in - with wall boards describing the renovation work undertaken. Unfortunately, this work was abandoned when the money ran out in 2010. Now the place is for sale (and with it you get 4.25 ha land – 20% of the island).
On the hill in the centre of the island between the Villa and the village/jetty is where the Church of San Michele Arcangelo is located. You pay to enter – for the talk/guided tour that takes in the frescos and the history of the island – typically in Italian, but also in English (and offered by the guide that afternoon when she picked up our language). Interesting interior with some fine views outside across the lake.
Leave time in which to wander the long single street (Via Guglielmi) in the village - line of houses on both sides across 8 m paving, well-maintained almost elegant in appearance and belying their 14-15th century origin. Renovated in the 1950s. What you do find, in contrast to the mainland, is a pedestrianized street with no motorized vehicles – what a difference that this makes to the feel of the community; quiet and easy to wander, stand and explore. This is where you find the museum, Captain’s house, couple of restaurants/bars and a public toilet.
The museum provides a glimpse of the recent and distance past – photos, diagrams and pictures – agriculture, fisheries and, nowadays, tourism. Tickets €2/each – good value. Fishing dominated through to the early 20th century harvesting carp, pike and tench – check out the importance of fish/technologies/employment/security of the lake and, in direct context, the constant effort required to ensure sufficient water - to maintain levels in the lake. The ancient port together with the original lake level/monitoring structures are adjacent to the modern jetty.
Just on 100 years ago modern lace-making was introduced from Ireland as a small-scale enterprise to help provide employment to augment declining traditional land/lake industries (and to slow the drift of young people from the island); the industry remains with a handful of lace-makers selling mainly to the tourists passing through. If you’re fortunate, you may find one or more lace-makers seated outside in the shade of a house, heads down and quietly knitting. The museum describes the trade and has a fine selection of garments on display.
And, not least, the malarial mosquito that was a perennial issue for those living close to the lake through to the mid-20th century when it was effectively eradicated/controlled with improved understanding of the disease/medicines, drainage and judicious use of chemicals. Mid-August 2019 and there was no noticeable issue with mosquitoes during our time there.
Looking back … some pleasant memories of an island at the centre of local history – we enjoyed the pleasure of exploring – and this, without even taking in the Second Punic War and the Battle of Lago Trasimeno that was fought just to the north of the current lake shore in which the Carthaginians under Hannibal routed the Roman Army in 217 BCE. We just didn’t have the time in which to explore further.
Memories of open boats, high/clear skies and the distant shorelines remain. It was August and Isola Maggiore and Lago Trasimeno provided a quiet/peaceful place in which to appreciate Umbria at its best.

Peter Steele
18 March 2020
Written 20 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

IMIGNOTO
4 contributions
Pleasant place to walk
Aug 2019 • Couples
Took the ferry over from Tuoro Navaccia to the island and walked the shore north and back over the higher trail. Lovely views of the North and East shores.Best done earlier in the day. Be warned- the public toilets on the embarking side had no toilet paper, and the only public WC on the island was filthy beyond description.
Written 26 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

CheekyLondon
Southend-on-Sea, UK1,461 contributions
Beautiful Island!
Aug 2019
We went here on the short boat trip from Castiglione del Lago. It only takes 30 minutes to get here. One main road, traffic free. You can walk or cycle round the island quite quickly as it's small. The main street has a few souvenir shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. We got here quite early so there were only a few visitors and this was nice. We watched a fishing boat fishing in the calm waters of the lake - fascinating. There is a tourist information office and the lady was very helpful. We saw local crafts being sold and also found out about the history of the island - the office itself is a delightfully old building. A very peaceful and relaxing experience.
Written 15 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mar1g0ld
20 contributions
A must see on Lake Trasimeno
Aug 2019
We went early, catching the 8:45 ferry from Passignano. It was hot even at this time of the day but due to rise over 30 by midday. It was a great time to go, climbing the hill before it got too hot. We were advised to take water with us as not all the water taps would be working.
€2 for the Lace Museum, the Captains house and the church at the top of the hill, which opens at 10:30
Lots of restaurant choices and souvenir shops
As we were leaving (before midday) ferries full of people were arriving. If you want more of the island to yourself, go early.
No problems with mosquitoes as mentioned in other posts, but we had put repellent on already.
Enjoy your day!
Written 7 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

niallmcheshire
Prestbury, UK225 contributions
Peaceful
Jul 2019 • Couples
Take the slow boat over here and have a real chill out day
Quiet bars and restaurant and s village full of nuns
This is one for adults who are interested in squirt area...let the kids go to a lakeside beach rather than be bored with tranquility
Written 22 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Susan S
Long Beach Island, NJ107 contributions
Lovely, quaint area
Oct 2018 • Couples
Took the ferry from Passagiano in October. (Low season). Beautiful day. 8E per person RT. 20 minute ride. Pleasant lunch. Loved walking around this island. Will definitely return to this area next year to further explore the area.
Written 9 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

bigvicSydney
Sydney, Australia3,551 contributions
Peaceful retreat.
Sep 2018 • Couples
Nice to spend some time away from the crowded world. And this island in the middle of Lake Tremosino fills the bill perfectly. Ideal for gentle walks and fresh air
Written 30 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Borzov
Rijeka, Croatia4,387 contributions
Nice half-day trip
Sep 2018 • Friends
We took a regular boat from Passignano to visit the Isola Maggiore, the second largest island at the lake (from three) and the only one that is inhabited. The regular return ticket is 8 EUR (a bit over half an hour in every direction) and the trip is worth it. We spent three hours at the island, walking around, visiting a few monuments and having a quick lunch. It was a nice half-day trip!
Written 22 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tinkerbell
London, UK57 contributions
Crochet tour
Sep 2018 • Business
I visited this island with a friend who was researching Punto Irlande Crochet. We visited the museum and spent time with the talented women who Crochet on the island. Please do buy there wares, it’s how they make a living. Despite my repellent I was quite badly bitten so will try a different product next year. There is a small hotel if you seek a visit of tranquility and peace barring the roaming pheasants. It’s a beautiful island.
Written 17 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Bob F
Kent, UK231 contributions
Day trip to Isola Maggiore Aug 18
Aug 2018 • Couples
We had a 3 hour trip here which was enough to walk around the island, visit the church at the top then walk through the village. We had lunch and gelato, then had time for gift shopping before returning to passignano. A very pleasant day trip and great value.
Written 29 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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