Lake Trasimeno for Families

Fun sights and kid-friendly activities near Lake Trasimeno

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Rebecca  Winke

Rebecca Winke
HomeAway travel expert


Passignano sul Trasimeno at Lake Trasimeno in UmbriaDreamy Lake Trasimeno, located in Umbria but hugging the border of neighboring Tuscany, is the perfect destination for travelling families who need to strike that delicate holiday balance between water fun and sports (for the kids) and cuisine and culture (for the grown-ups). The lake itself is ringed with family-friendly beaches and parks, a leisurely walking and biking trail, and casual restaurants and pizzerias. Further up in the surrounding hills, more active (and older) families can take advantage of a number of scenic walking trails, visit pretty Medieval lakeside villages, and sample some of the area’s excellent wine and olive oil.

For a special day in the Trasimeno area focused specifically on the kids, here are a few suggestions for the most fun-packed spots and activities guaranteed to keep the little ones occupied – and the adults relaxed.

Rebecca's verdict on Lake Trasimeno

Passignano sul Trasimeno - One of the most popular villages along the lakeshore, Passignano has a Medieval castle at its head and a pretty beach and park at its feet, both fun stops for traveling kids. Their “Palio delle Barche” festival in July, when locals in period dress race through town toting boats on their shoulders, is raucous and memorable. .

San Feliciano Quiet San Feliciano harks back to the lake’s roots and a fishing culture and economy, and is one of the few spots along the shore where visitors can spot fishermen heading out in their traditional flat-bottomed wooden boats or hand-mending their nets.  

Panicale This Medieval village perched on a hilltop south of the lake offers beautiful views over the lake and surrounding countryside, and an iconic “small Italian town” vibe of locals leisurely making their way between the town’s three historic piazze to shop, mingle, and gossip. 

Montecolognola Tiny Montecolognola, near the more industrial town of Magione, is perched on the summit of an olive grove-covered hill, and has a pretty castle, a parish church decorated with frescoes spanning from the 14th to the 16th century, and gorgeous views over the lake. 

Castiglione del Lago Neatly laid out on a tongue of land sticking out into Lake Trasimeno, Castiglione’s beautiful views, picturesque castle, excellent restaurants and shops, and resort town vibe make it one of the more popular destinations for travellers to the lake.
 

 
 

Rebecca's family-friendly guide to Lake Trasimeno activities


   

Sand and ice-cream stands: Sualzo Beach, Passignano sul Trasimeno Sand and ice-cream stands: Sualzo Beach, Passignano sul Trasimeno

Perhaps the best kitted-out beach for a day on the lake is this long stretch near Passignano. With a nice mix of sandy shore and grassy, shaded park, Sualzo has rental chairs and umbrellas, a playground, pool, restaurant, and refreshment stand. For more active families, there is a beach volleyball court and canoes, paddle-boats, and bikes available for rental. On weekend evenings, the place is hopping with a DJ or live music, lasting long into the wee hours. If you have your choice of where to stop for a day at the beach, this is probably your best bet.

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Fishing trips: Cooperativo Pescatori di Trasimeno, San Feliciano Fishing trips: Cooperativo Pescatori di Trasimeno, San Feliciano

With the beaches lining the lake, and the resort feel of the villages perched on its shores, it’s easy to forget that for hundreds—if not thousands—of years, the people of this area survived almost primarily by fishing. Though there are not that many fishermen left, those few who do continue to live off the water do so through the Lake Trasimeno Fishermen’s Cooperative, which is based in San Feliciano. For kids (and adults) who would like to try their hand at the traditional fishing techniques that the locals have used since time immemorial, the Cooperative organizes day trips on the water with a flat-bottomed wooden boat, an assortment of nets and lines, and a local expert to reveal where the fish are biting.

 

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Wet and wild: Parco Acquatico Tavernelle, Panicale, Tavernelle Wet and wild: Parco Acquatico Tavernelle, Panicale, Tavernelle

Parco Acquatico Tavernelle is perfect for a family looking for splish-splashy fun in the sun. With three pools (swimming, diving, and wading), a jacuzzi, three fabulous waterslides for the older kids, and a separate kiddie area for toddlers who need some pint-sized slides and shallow water, there are thrills for the whole family. You’ll need to bring your own suit and towel, but the pool has caps (required), goggles, and sundry other pool gear for purchase. You can rent an umbrella and loungers in the vast, grassy surrounding park, or grab a shady spot under some trees and spread out. There is an excellent self-service restaurant and refreshment stand, or you can bring your own picnic supplies.

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Need for speed: Autodromo dell’Umbria, Magione Need for speed: Autodromo dell’Umbria, Magione

Vroom, vroom! Sure, art and culture. Nature, too. But for a real treat for your motor-loving kids who need a break from all the bucolic sights around Lake Trasimeno, consider a day at the races. The Magione autodrome is a family-friendly facility hosting both auto (ranging from NASCAR to antique cars) and motorcycle races on its 2.5-kilometre circuit most weekends. It may not be the most educational day of your vacation, but chances are your kids will remember it as the most fun. For a race schedule (in Italian), check their website.

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High as a kite: Coloriamo i Cieli, Castiglione del Lago High as a kite: Coloriamo i Cieli, Castiglione del Lago

For a few days spanning the end of April and the beginning of May, the skies around Castiglione become crowded with brightly colored kites, as kite enthusiasts from across the globe gather to fly their creations over Lake Trasimeno: this is Coloriamo i Cieli. Located at the former airport, the festival has workshops, entertainment, refreshments, games, and lots of booths were visitors can buy the most basic to the most elaborate kites of their own, to try their hand at flying. Co-sponsored by a number of environmental organizations, the festival is thick with fun, kid-friendly activities promoting conservation and recycling, art projects focused on local flora and fauna, and a number of nature walks, bikes, and horseback rides.

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Images
Sualzo Beach, Passignano sul Trasimeno by Adrian Michael
Parco Acquatico Tavernelle, Panicale, Tavernelle by Bonjoisavo
Autodromo dell’Umbria, Magione by Wikipedia
Coloriamo i Cieli, Castiglione del Lago by Rebecca Winke

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