Paciano, was ranked among the most beautiful historical centres in Italy. It is the ideal place not only for those who want to turn back time in its alleys and picturesque views, but also for those who love walking in contact with nature. This natural environment allows you to go on an excursion on a trail that links Paciano to Panicale, that are situated in two opposite slopes of the Mount Petralvella.
Going through the gate porta Rastrella you exit the centre of Paciano and take the uphill towards Panicale. The first part of the path goes through a typical Mediterranean wood, with chestnuts, oaks, bushes, junipers and wild roses. You carry on along a alley with pine trees until you reach the picnic area of the Mount Pausillo at 617 metres above the sea level. The trekking trail goes back then to get the peak of the Mount Petrarvella. From the top of the mountain, at about 638 metres above the sea level, you will enjoy a wonderful view of the lake Trasimeno, and will be amazed by the beauty of the landscape that inspired the great Perugino in all his works.
The trekking trail ends in the western side of Panicale, on a country path where you can also spot the Nestore Valley and the slopes of the Mount Arale.
For a more passionate experience, you can walk this trail on your own or you can be guided by an expert outdoor guide. You can reserve it just by following the link here below:
Panicale, situated at 441 metres a.s.l., is the most beautiful “terrace” overlooking the whole surface of the lake Trasimeno.
The origin of the name “Panicale” is still uncertain, even if it may have derived from the Latin word pan colis, “the place where “panico” is grown”; Panico is a type of grain,very similar to millet, whose spikes could be the ones that are visible in the town’s coat of arms.
Panicale has got a unique urban structure, composed of circles all along a steep hill, where the first people settled. Strolling around the narrow streets of the centre, joined together by alleys and flights of steps is a real plasure for every visitor. With no rush, everyone can enjoy its fantastic views, colours and its historical heritage.
The first place to be settled was the top of the hill, a small and picturesque square where the Palazzo del Podestà stands; The Palazzo was built in the 1300s and is made of sandstone. This is one of the most picturesque corners in Panicale, where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the lake and the green and gentle hills around it. The blue water of the lake and the green lands blend together and turn into different colour shades, according to the time of the day, the day and the season.
Going down a narrow street we walk along the birthhouse of the fearsome Boldrino Paneri. The house is situated in Piazza San Michele where the Church “Collegiata”, renamed after the same Saint, stands. The church dates back to the X and XI centuries and underwent several renovation works during the centuries, until the last renovation, that took place in the late 1600s/early 1700s, when it gained its Baroque style. Inside, among the baroque stuccoes it is possible to admire “the Annunciation” painted by Masolino from panicale and “The Adoration of the Shepherds “ by Giovanbattista Caporali.
Down again, when you reach the main square in Panicale, piazza Umberto I, you can see the XV century fountain that reminds us the “Fontana Maggiore” in Perugia, with its beautiful decorations and the town’s coat of arms. From this square, walking along a street covered with a roof you reach the Theatre Caporali that is considered one of the smallest theatres in Italy. It still preserves its original structure and stage. Going through the Gate Porta Perugina, we keep going on towards Via Belvedere. With its leafy trees, benches and a large sidewalk, via Belvedere is the ideal place for those who want to admire the lake Trasimeno. But that’s not all, it also leads to the Church of San Sebastiano, where you can see both the famous wall painting by Perugino “The sacrifice of Saint Sebastian” and the “Madonna with Angels who are playing some musical instruments”, which was attributed to Raffaello.
You can visit Panicale and its historical streets either on your own or with a guided tour, that you can reserve and buy directly on our website “Terre del Perugino” just following the links here below:
We decided to rename our “brand” after him, because he was and still is one of the greatest Italian Renaissance painters. Let us find out something more about him, his life, his works that are still admired today and about his character that used to have a great influence on all his contemporary artists and painters. Pietro Vannucci, known as il Perugino, was born in Castel della Pieve, probably in the mid 1400s, in a house located on the top of the strada del Vecciano (today Via Roma), as mentioned in some old official papers and died when he contracted the bubonic plague in Fontignano (PG) in 1523. He is worldwide known thanks to its artist name “Perugino”. He had chosen a bigger city like Perugia rather than a smaller place like Castel della Pieve because his purpose was to give his paintings a precise geographical origin. It is said, even if there is no evidence of it, that his first teacher would have been a certain Francesco da Castel della Pieve, a local painter who worked on a big “Crucifixion” from 1449, that is still visible in Paciano, at the art gallery owned by the Confraternita del SS Sacramento of Paciano. According to the art historian Vasari, he could have been a pupil in the school of Piero della Francesca in Arezzo, from whom he learnt the use of perspective, while in Florence he trained at the workshop owned by the multitasking artist Verrocchio. It was there, where he learnt grace and harmony in drawing.
He was a prolific artist of a great fame and opened two schools: one in Perugia and another one in Florence. He was so much appreciated for his talent that in the year 1481 was commissioned the painting of the walls in the Sistine Chapel, together with his contemporary painters like: Cosimo Rosselli, Sandro Botticelli and Domenico Ghirlandaio. There is no doubt at all that in this period he reached the top of his fame and prestige; his paintings were a mixture of lyricism and surreal figures.
The late 1400s represented the end of his golden age and the early 1500s the beginning of his downfall. It was probably due to a radical change in taste and styles in art, while he showed a lack of renovation. For this reason his style was labelled as monotonous, static and old-fashioned. He was therefore forced to leave those bigger cities like Rome and Florence where he made a fortune and come back to the surrounding area of Perugia, where he was still appreciated as an artist.
He showed his talent when he painted the wall painting “The Adoration of the Magi” in 1504 at the Oratory of Santa Maria de’ Bianchi in Città della Pieve and the following year “the Sacrifice of Saint Sebastian”, in the church renamed after Saint Sebastian in Panicale. In 1508 he also painted “Sant’Antonio Abate between the two Saints Paolo Eremita and Marcello” in the church of San Pietro always in Città della Pieve and afterwards the two altar canvas “Madonna in glory with the Saints” and the “Christening of Jesus Christ”, inside the Cathedral of Città della Pieve.
Back in Città della Pieve, when he was old and almost blind, Pietro painted in 1517 the Church of Santa Maria dei Servi, today the Civic Museum owned by the Diocese. The painting was supposed to be a cycle of frescoes focusing on the main events of Jesus’ life. The “Lowering of Christ from the cross” is an essential and mature work and it is the only one that is still visible. He died after having contracted the bubonic plague in the year 1523, when he was almost 80 years old.
Although Vasari criticised him a lot, we should not forget that Perugino taught pupils like Pinturicchio, Raffaello, Giovanni Spagna, Eusebio da San Giorgio, Giannicola di Paolo, Giovanni Battista Caporali and today he is considered one of the most famous Italian painters.
You can see his works in Città della Pieve and Panicale either on your own, or with a guided tour that you can book and buy directly on our internet site “terre del Perugino”, following the links here below:
In a short piece of land on the borders between Umbria and Tuscany, across the Chiana Valley and the Trasimeno lake, there are four medieval centres worth to be mentioned: Città della Pieve, Panicale, Paciano and Piegaro; they all have one thing in common: thanks to the beauty of their views they became a great source of inspiration for the famous Italian painter Pietro Vannucci, also known as “Il Perugino”.
Perugino himself who was born in Città della Pieve and whose works are still safeguarded in churches, museums, art galleries and Oratories all over Italy and Europe, brought fame and prestige to this part of Umbria.
With this blog, that is linked to our internet site “Terre del Perugino”, we want to show you all the local traditions, local art and the beauty of these places, where it is still possible to lead a quiet life, eat good food and being surrounded by nature.