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Lago Trasimeno

A splash of inky blue on the hilly landscape, Lago Trasimeno is where Umbria spills over into Tuscany. Italy's fourth-largest lake is a prime spot if you want to tiptoe off the well-trodden trail and slip into the languid rhythm of lake life. All around the 128-sq-km lake, olive groves, woods of oak and cypress trees, vines and sunflower fields frame castle-topped medieval towns, such as Castiglione del Lago and Passignano, draped along its shores like a daisy chain.

But while the scenery is bucolic and the atmosphere slow, at least outside peak summer months, the area has a turbulent past and it was here that Hannibal destroyed a Roman army in 217 BC.

Castiglione del Lago on the lake’s western flank is the area's main centre.

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