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Castiglione del Lago

Coordinates: 43°08′19″N 12°02′52″E / 43.13861°N 12.04778°E / 43.13861; 12.04778
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Castiglione del Lago
Comune di Castiglione del Lago
Old town of Castiglione del Lago
Old town of Castiglione del Lago
Coat of arms of Castiglione del Lago
Location of Castiglione del Lago
Castiglione del Lago is located in Italy
Castiglione del Lago
Castiglione del Lago
Location of Castiglione del Lago in Italy
Castiglione del Lago is located in Umbria
Castiglione del Lago
Castiglione del Lago
Castiglione del Lago (Umbria)
Coordinates: 43°08′19″N 12°02′52″E / 43.13861°N 12.04778°E / 43.13861; 12.04778
FrazioniBadia, Casamaggiore, Gioiella, Macchie, Panicarola, Petrignano, Piana, Porto, Pozzuolo, Pucciarelli, San Fatucchio, Vaiano, Villastrada
 • MayorMatteo Burico
 • Total205.26 km2 (79.25 sq mi)
304 m (997 ft)
 (30 June 2017)[2]
 • Total15,498
 • Density76/km2 (200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code075
Patron saintMary Magdalene
Saint day22 July
WebsiteOfficial website

Castiglione del Lago is a town in the province of Perugia of Umbria (central Italy), on the southwest corner of Lake Trasimeno. Orvieto is 59 km (37 mi) south, Chiusi is 21 km (13 mi) to the south west, Arezzo is 56 km (35 mi) to the north west, Cortona is 21 km (13 mi) to the north and Perugia is 47 km (29 mi) to the south east.

Geography and urban structure

Aerial view

Castiglione del Lago has evolved on what used to be an island - the fourth island of Lake Trasimeno, in its south west region. Over the centuries, as the town grew, the flat gap between the island and the shore was filled with piazzas, houses, churches and other buildings.

The newest parts of the city are at some distance from the old, so the centro storico (historical center) of Castiglione del Lago is a well-preserved medieval locality that seems to be governed by a "law of threes". In the town walls there are three gates, and inside the town there are three piazzas and three churches.



Castiglione lies on the once important road between Orvieto to the south, Chiusi to the west, and Arezzo to the north. Its position in this hotly disputed territory, pitting Etruscans against Romans, and later Tuscans against Perugians, inevitably brought a long cycle of death and destruction to the town.

The monumental ancient Roman "Gioiella-Vaiano" villa[3] (between the villages of Gioiella and Vaiano) was excavated in 2016-9 and was a large complex for both pleasure (otium) and production (negotium). It was built on up to three terraces on the slope of the hill overlooking Lago di Chiusi. It dates from the 2nd century BC to the early 4th century AD and flourished during the early imperial period, its owners probably having links to the Imperial family. The Villa underwent several structural modifications with several owners. Excavations have revealed a luxurious bath complex tiled with marble and with glass windows, on the lower terrace, and a monumental nymphaeum on the central terrace from the early imperial phase of the villa. The nymphaeum was designed to impress visitors with the control and display of water, of a standard found in the most luxurious villas on the Bay of Naples. It was built around a large vaulted space over a pool with 12 niches in the walls decorated with blue glass to reflect the water below and to imitate a grotto.[4]

The original fortifications were destroyed and rebuilt on numerous occasions. It was only during and following the reign of Emperor Frederick II (early 13th century) that a period of relative stability ensued.

Later the city fell under the control of Perugia, within the Papal States, becoming the fiefdom of the powerful Baglioni family. In 1550, Pope Julius III bestowed it upon his sister. In 1563, her son, Ascanio della Corgna, became the Marquis of Castiglione and Chiusi. The fiefdom became a prosperous, but short-lived Duchy in 1617. The last Duke Fulvio Alessandro (1617–1647) died without heirs and the town was re-absorbed into the Papal States.

Main sights

View of the town

The Fortress of the Lion was built by Emperor Frederick II. The pentagonal-shaped castle, was completed in 1247 CE by the monk-architect Elia from Cortona. The castle features square towers in four of its corners and a triangular shaped bastion, or donjon, known as the Mastio in the other. The castle was designed to give its owners strategic control over all of Lake Trasimeno. The castle has withstood a number of sieges over the subsequent centuries.

The Palazzo della Corgna which serves as the Palazzo del Comune (Town Hall) was built by Ascanio della Corgna in Renaissance style, designed by the architect Vignola. It is now a civic museum and gallery. The palazzo has by a long, covered corridor connecting to the castle. On the main floor, late Renaissance era frescoes were painted by the Pescaro-born artist Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi and the Florentine artist Salvio Savini. In 1574, the artist Niccolò Circignani, known as "Il Pomarancio", added paintings and other decorations to one of the most interesting rooms in the palazzo, the so-called Room of the Exploits of the overlord Ascanio della Corgna.

The only other building of particular note is the finely stucco-ed Church of Santa Maria Maddalena, done on a Greek-cross plan. The church has a neo-classical pronaos and, inside, a panel painted in 1580 by Eusebio da San Giorgio.

Fortress of the Lion.
Castle and lake Trasimeno.



Every two years, Castiglione del Lago is the host of the Coloriamo i Cieli festival. The "Colour the Skies" event is held on no fixed date in late April or May. Since 2005, however, this festival has been held annually and now includes light aircraft (nearly 2000 in 2007), hot air balloons (17) and thousands of multi coloured kites.

Notable people


Twin towns


See also



  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ The Villa Site https://trapdigitalmuseum.org/scavi-2016-2019/
  4. ^ Rebecca K. Schindler et al. Report on the Excavations of the Gioiella-Vaiano Villa 2016-2019 www.fastionline.org/docs/FOLDER-it-2021-493.pdf
  5. ^ "Franciscan Media". Archived from the original on 2020-10-08. Retrieved 2019-05-15.


  • Maria Gabriella Donati-Guerrieri, Lo Stato di Castiglione del Lago e i della Corgna, La Grafica, Perugia 1972.