• Staff



Country ITA

To the North of Lake Trasimeno, along the foothills of Mount Castiglione, lies a small valley cut by a brook called simply “the Rio”. The first document naming the area as Vernazzano is the testament of Marquis Henry III Marchiones, written in the castle of Pierle in 1098, in which Vernazzano is bequeathed to the Benedictine order.

The castle is perched on the top of a rock jutting out above the hills, at 430 metres over sea level. Built around the Eleventh Century, it thereafter belonged to the monks of Santa Rita from Petraia, in the diocese of Città di Castello. The castle overlooked and important hilltop road connecting Perugia to Cortona but was already described by Matteo from Isola Maggiore in his 1527 book Trasimenis as depopulated and in decline.

To this day, its “leaning tower” is a symbol and landmark to the inhabitants of Vernazzano, representing their connection of the history of these border lands, with their fortified castles and endless disputes. The origin of the name “Vernazzano” is a curious one: according to Matteo from Isola Maggiore, Vernazzano would derive from the Latin ver, springtime, and anno, year, in reference to the special climate of this area, warm and pleasant all year round.

Points of interest around Vernazzano include:

  • the castle’s Torre Torta, the “Bent Tower”;
  • the church of S. Lucia, in which a 1769 painting by Anton Maria Garbi testifies to what the castle of Vernazzano would have looked like in the past;
  • the church of S. Maria delle Trosce, outside the castle walls, originally contained two early Sixteenth Century frescoes by the local masters Perugino and Pinturicchio.



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