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: