We awoke to a beautiful day and decided to explore nearby Castiglione del Lago, just a 10-minute drive from Camucia and Cortona. We left our vacation rental, La Mucchia Casa Vacanze, below, and snapped a few shots along the way…
Camucia and Cortona below
Fog along the hills
Arriving at Castiglione del Lago’s gate to the town overlooking Lake Trasimeno – there is public parking right outside the gate. Learn more about the history at: http://www.castiglionedellago.eu/eng/index.htm
Some signs around town give some history…
The main piazza…
Checking out the Ristorante Monna Lisa on the piazza. Their menu looks good, but we have a bit until they open so we’re off to explore the town.
The shops in these little Italian towns do such a good job of enticing you to check out their wares with them arranged attractively outside the shops.
These little figures caught my eye up on a second story window ledge…Love them!
Love the rooster weather vane and the red tile roofs
There are several ceramics and pottery artists in town. The red poppy table was lovely.
Inside I met the kind proprietor and he showed me around the shop. I just wish he had spoken English so I could have understood more about their wares.
Around the corner was another shop, and Stefania, was also in residence. She does exceptionally fine painting.
And look – she’s the creator of the little ledge figures! Her red and yellow pieces were bright and cheery, but as with most of the ceramics and pottery, pricey!
We next wandered towards the Fortress to go for a tour… The huge ancient olive trees drew me like a bee to honey…
Wow! These were the biggest olive trees we saw the entire trip in Italy. How amazing that they live with those gnarled hollow trunks and still are producing abundant olive harvests!
So after walking through the olive grove, we realized we had to back track and go through the Palazzo della Corgna building to start the tour of the Fortress.
Enter here for the tour of the Palazzo and Fortress…
Inside the frescos on the ceilings and walls are FABULOUS! I had to sneak a sampling of just a few so you wouldn’t miss out. They also have a nice display of Etruscan finds, furniture and more.
You exit from the Palazzo to the entry of the single-file fortress covered walkway. I bet children, especially boys would love this tour!
Here we go..
They must hold community productions in this outdoor amphitheater area. What an amazing venue! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to watch a play or concert with that view? Here are some views from the tower tops and some panoramas I did with my phone…
To one side of Castiglione del Lago is Tuscany, and in the other direction, Umbria
Done with our fortress tour, we wandered back down a different street towards the piazza and lunch at Ristorante Monna Lisa.
We were still a bit early for lunch so we decided to do a little shopping at the corner store. The friendly sales girl had given us lots of samples earlier, along with a coupon for a discount on purchases.
We chose one of the small-handled cutting boards made of olive. Olive wood is VERY hard and heavy, so small was all we could take to pack.
They had lots of pasta, herbs and spices…Local varieties of honey and jams, which we picked out a few for the moms…
She tried to sell us on their “speciality” male pasta – but we passed.
Local wine, flavorings and olives…
Cheese – please! We got a few chunks of cheese and some wild boar salami for our appetizer supplies.
The shopkeeper was very nice and they packed it all up for us and held it until after our lunch.
Speaking of lunch – it’s time! We picked a table outside so we could people watch.
We heard a bunch of giggling and then lots of cracking and explosions!! I whirled around to capture the local children setting off fireworks!
Now what to eat…
Wine of course, and some brushetta with local specialty toppings to start
The sky had been getting cloudy and after getting started on our brushetta, it started to rain. We moved inside, along with other diners flocking inward, and the dining room filled up all at once! Luckily we had already placed our order and gotten our wine, so we were ahead of the crowd! The Monna Lisa had several seafood and local fish from the lake on the menu. I can’t remember what my seafood entree was called, but it was clean-plate delicious! Not a drop left!
Wally chose a local Lake Trasimeno whole fish and it was tasty too.