Battlefield

Leaving Castiglione del Lago, we headed north around Lake Trasimeno to the town of Tuoro, which is unremarkable other than it was close to the site of the Battle of Trasimeno which took place during the 2nd Punic Wars.

The Battle was fought on 21 June 217 BC between the Roman army, under Gaius Flaminius, and the Carthaginian troops, led by Hannibal. Hannibal planned a massive ambush of the Roman army along the shore of the Lake. Here, a narrow lakeside passage opened out into a confined plain, restricting the Romans’ ability to adopt their normal battle formations. Under cover of a morning mist, once the Roman troops were contained on the narrow plain with their rear blocked by Carthaginian cavalry, Hannibal’s men poured down from the heavily forested hills and routed the enemy. Hannibal 1, Rome 0.

Hannibal preparing for battle. Well, it was difficult to get a photo.....

Hannibal preparing for battle. Well, it was difficult to get a photo…..

It is estimated that around 15,000 Romans were killed that day, whilst Hannibal lost around 2,500. Hannibal almost suceeded in overpowering Rome and he was Rome’s biggest threat for many years. Although he eventually lost the Punic Wars, Hannibal is today remembered as one of the finest generals in ancient military history, and the Battle of Lake Trasimeno is considered to be an outstanding example of military tactics.

And if you are wondering what happened to Hannibal’s famous elephants, most of them died during the harsh, northern Italian winter.

Fired up by tales of derring-do, we continued on to Passignano sul Trasimeno, built on a rocky promontory overlooking the Lake.

Passignano sul Trasimeno

Passignano sul Trasimeno

The centre of Passignano still retains its medieval walls, but there is little left of the old town other than the remains of La Rocca di Passignano, a fortress dating from the V-VI centuries, due to bombing during the second World War.

Passignano sul Trasimeno, La Rocca

Passignano sul Trasimeno, La Rocca

The more modern town has sprawled to the Lake’s edge and attracts tourists mainly because of its access to the Lake’s islands by boat.

Passignano sul Trasimeno, Ferry Boats

Passignano sul Trasimeno, Ferry Boats

Fishing – both commercial and for leisure – is also carried out here. Tench, eel, pike, carp and perch are all found in the Lake.

Passignano sul Trasimeno, Fishing Boats

Passignano sul Trasimeno, Fishing Boats

Passignano sul Trasimeno, Fishing Boats

Passignano sul Trasimeno, Fishing Boats

Passignano sul Trasimeno, Gone Fishing!

Passignano sul Trasimeno, Gone Fishing!

There is also a small but pretty marina.

Passignano sul Trasimeno, Marina

Passignano sul Trasimeno, Marina

There were few boats out on the water…

Passignano sul Trasimeno, sailing.

Passignano sul Trasimeno, sailing.

Passignano sul Trasimeno, sailing

Passignano sul Trasimeno, sailing

It’s not difficult to idle away a few hours just looking….

Passignano sul Trasimeno

Passignano sul Trasimeno, misty view over Lake Trasimeno

There were lots of ducks, birds and various other wildlife on and around the Lake.

Duck, Lake Trasimeno

Duck, Lake Trasimeno

How green is this lizard? Lake Trasimeno

How green is this lizard? Lake Trasimeno

Right Mabel - let's get those 2 tourists down there...!

Right Mabel – let’s get those 2 tourists down there…!

Mini Adventures, Lake Trasimeno, Italy

Mini Adventures, Lake Trasimeno, Italy

Roll on the next adventure!

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4 thoughts on “Battlefield

  1. Anthony Allinson

    Further interesting learning.

    It’s crossed my mind to find out whether one can get a bound copy of blogs.

    I bet there is a dreary app for that, but I might have to have a look 🙂

    Reply
  2. Otto von Münchow

    The battle of Trasimeno was one of the most important battles during the Punic Wars. Interesting to see how the area looks like today. As always you have captured some beautiful photos.

    Reply
    1. maryshoobridge Post author

      Thanks Otto. Classical literature has always interested me, so to see this place with its links to Punic wars and Hannibal was a real treat. It brings history into the present.

      Reply

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