Located close to Lake Trasimeno, the small town of Magione is the birthplace of Fra’ Giovanni di Pian di Carpine (‘Brother John of the Hornbeam Plain’), so-called because of the large hornbeams that once covered the plain at the foot of Magione. In 1225, Pope Innocent IV sent Fra’ Giovanni to Asia to spread the Order of the Friars Minor. The town of Magione grew around the hospice founded by the Order of S. John of Jerusalem, which around the year 1300 was transformed into a castle under the control of the Knights of Malta who made it their magione (mansion), hence the name of the small town.
Things to see: The castle of the Knights of Malta, built on a square plan with corner towers; of interest are the three arcades in the courtyard and a throne room . The castle also includes a church dedicated to S. John the Baptist. The parish church of S. Giovanni Battista, commissioned by the Knights of Malta in the 16th century and decorated with frescoes by Gerardo Dottori (1947). The church of La Madonna delle Grazie from 1209, rebuilt in 1720, which houses a Maestà painting attributed to Andrea di Giovanni (14th -15th cent.). Nearby is Magione’s permanent racetrack, home to major motor sport events.
Places to visit near Magione: San Savino Castle, built around 1000 AD, overlooks an area of the lake designated a nature oasis by the province of Perugia. Continuing along the lakeside brings you to San Feliciano, a tourist centre and historic fishing town. The town’s Museo della Pesca (Fishing Museum) offers an interesting anthropological history of Lake Trasimeno, and a ferry service links San Feliciano to Isola Polvese. Nearby is the picturesque village of Monte del Lago, dominated by a fortified tower that was once the seat of the lake government. A short distance from Magione is a sign for the church of the Madonna delle Fontanelle (1508), built on the site of a ‘miraculous’ spring. Another short excursion takes you to the ancient medieval village of Montecolognola, whose parish church has an interesting Annunciation in majolica tiles from 1584 and a fresco by the 20th-century artist, Gerardo Dottori. From Monte Melino there is a magnificent view of Lake Trasimeno.
Typical local foods: Don’t miss tasting Carp in porchetta (carp baked with garlic, fennel and rosemary) and Tegamaccio di Anguilla (eel stew) with fresh tomatoes. Typical products of this area are the olive oil DOP and Colli del Trasimeno DOC wine.
Local crafts: handmade goods in copper, embossed bronze, wrought iron, and embroidery.