Our destination today was to Castiglione del Lago for market day, and it was in full swing when we arrived. Located about 15 minutes below Cortona in the Umbria region, this unique town is located on Lake Trasimeno, and one of our favorite small towns to visit. On market day you’ll find all sorts of things for sale from household goods to food products to plants.
The shops have a wide assortment of attractively packaged food products, olive wood items, linens, and more. This is a great place to buy things to take home, and they are generous with tasting samples. All of the shop keepers are so friendly! There are several ceramic shops that feature their locally painted ceramics that are very high quality, and several little art galleries.
The Fortress of the Lion completed in 1247 overlooks the lake, and you can walk the ramparts. The Palazzo della Corgna houses a gallery and museum and there are gorgeous frescoes throughout the building. I love the ancient olive grove outside the fort. See my previous posts on Castiglione del Lago for more info and photos of the museum and fort.
We departed town in search of sunflowers, and found several fields in full bloom just below Cortona. FINALLY, I got to see the sunflowers in bloom in Tuscany!!!
Next up, a visit and wine tasting just a few minutes away at Avignonesi winery in the village of Valiano. They are an organic winery, and have the most awesome estate with a circular spoked vineyard that is so cool! They are known for their organic wines and their vin santo. They offer wine-paired lunch and brunch, cooking classes, hot air balloon tours, and how about their “Wine & Gourmet Ferarri” Tour?? We didn’t know about that – Wally would have wanted to do it!
The aerial picture of the estate on their website will make you want to plan your visit immediately! Here’s their website to learn more about them: https://www.avignonesi.it/en
Here’s some snapshots around Avignonesi:
Time to get a sample…
You can sit inside or go outside on their patio, which we chose to do. Salute! Very tasty!
Now a few snapshots on the drive back to Villa Mazzi, and its time to relax and drink some more wine…
Our spoils from today…