The old Villa Carpine, which then became Pian
di Carpine, was later known as La Magione
di Pian di Carpine, a name derived from "maison" or home given to the Abbey, today the
Castle of the Cavaliers of Malta. In fact the town, during the period of the crusades, was an obligatory stop along the route which from France reached the Holy Land before crossing the sea from Otranto. So the name Maison, over the years, became Italianised into Magione. Situated along the main road from Tuscany to Perugia, already in Etruscan
times it was an important commercial intersection, so much so that its inhabitants preferred to leave it "open", that is free of fortifications, feeling themselves to be sufficiently protected by the numerous castles along the east coast. At the end of 1200 however they erected, near the town, the
stronghold of Montecolognola, so as to have refuge in case of danger. The town suffered many historical vicissitudes; in 1280 almost all the houses were destroyed by Perugia, a punishment
for having given hospitality to the runaway Fasiolo de Montone, a man condemned to death. In 1502 in the Abbey there was a reunion of the conspirators against Cesare
Borgia, the infamous Duke Valentino, who however came to hear of it later during a meeting in Senigallia and had them all put to death. At the end of the 1700's a violent rebellion against French troops, which began in Castel
Rigone, was extinguished in blood in Magione. And finally in in 1820 the Lake
Government had its headquarters there, making Magione the predominant town.
Fra' Giovanni (Brother John)
When Magione was still known as Pian di Carpine, Fra’ Giovanni, one of its most remarkable citizens, came to be known as Fra’ Giovanni da Pian di Carpine. He can be considered a forerunner of Marco Polo. Between the years 1215 and 1245 he was appointed Papal Ambassador with various directive assignments in Saxony, Bohemia, Hungary, Denmark, Norway and Spain. He was then sent by Pope Innocence IV to Karakorum as Legate, with the mission of carrying two papal edicts to the Grand Khan of the Mongolian Empire, at the time Guyuk Khan, grandson of Gengis Khan, whom he managed to meet several times after a journey lasting fifteen months. However the imperative tone of the Pope’s message, ordering the Mongols to stop exterminating Christians, repent their sins and be baptized, excluded it from being taken into consideration. On his return he described his experiences in a “Historia Mongolorum” which was not only a book on his travels but also a treatise on espionage with details of the life of the Mongols but also geographical, political and military news, with much advice on how to combat them.
Click to see places to visit
To visit in Passignano sul Trasimeno
The castle, built in three different historical periods, dates back to the 5th - 6th c.. Recently restored, is actually used as a Documentation centre for the territory.
San Cristoforo The cemetery church is the ancient parish of Passignano, built on a larger scale than the current church, on the site of a pagan temple: the three original apses were subsequently removed, the altar was brought forward and the entire floor was raised. The nave boasts a circle of frescoes attributed to Policleto da Cola (1418) and one attributed to Benedetto Bonfigli (1446).
Sanctuary Madonna dell'Uliveto
A beautiful temple built at the end of the 1500s with alms and work provided freely by the faithful, it takes its name from a miraculous vision of the Madonna - the section of wall where the vision appeared was removed and originally placed on the stump of an olive tree as a shrine on the place where the temple now stands. It is home to various precious art-works: the marble holy water font from 1602, the sculpture of the Madonna and child by Asciano da Cortona and numerous canvasses, among which a Madonna on the Throne by Virgilio Nucci stands out, along with an Annunciation and a Miracolo di Francesco di Paola attributed to Salvio Savini.
The small church of San Vito, was built around 1100 using as bell-tower an existing tower of clearly Byzantine origin. The tower was probabilly an ancient light-house given its particular structure with arches at its base and completely hollow inside, so that a fire could be lit which be visible through the round windows from every part of the lake.
Roman Villa of Quarantaia
In the locality of Quarantaia the remains of this Roman villa have recently been found, dating back to the 1c AD. Its impressive proportions suggest that the villa was owned by wealthy masters with also a kiln to bake bricks.
Probably deriving its name from Rigo, or Rigone, the leiutenant of Totila the king of the Goths, who stationed his base of operations here during the seige of Perugia in 543, origins which are remembered today with the annual historic recreation of the "Giostra di Arrigo" - Arrigo's Jousting Tournament. The town was fortified at the end of the 1200s, and of the imposing castle, the keep, three towers and long stretches of wall are still standing. Its position high in the hills with a beautiful view of the lake, the lush vegetation and unspoilt environment make the town an ideal place for relaxing, horse riding, mountain biking and bird watching.
Sanctuary Maria SS. dei Miracoli
The Sanctuary of Mary of the Miracles is considered to be one of Umbria's Renaissance masterpieces, of Bhramantic inspiration. It became well known at the end of the 1400s thanks to the miraculous properties attributed to a painting of the Madonna on one of the walls, and in the ensuing years it has been enriched by the addition of precious works of art. Among the most important of these is the "Madonna del Rosario" (Madonna of the Rosary) by Bernardo Rosselli, an "Assunzione" (Assumption) from Caporali's studio, a beautiful "Epifania" (Epiphany) by Domenico Alfani and a "Croce Lignea" (wooden cross) from 1531.