At Lake Trasimeno you can also visit or stay for a few days on the islands. Isola Maggiore and Isola Polvese are two delightful islands with unique scenery and lush vegetation. There are beautiful walks around their perimeters and in the central areas. Both islands are equipped with a range of facilities and have small beaches for sunbathing and swimming.
The ferry service is punctual, with an hourly outward and return schedule. For further details click here
Located in the southeast part of the lake, with an area of almost 70 hectares and a perimeter of 5 km, Polvese is the largest of Lake Trasimeno’s three islands. It was inhabited by the Etruscans and evidence has also been found of later Roman occupation. In 1139, the inhabitants of the island submitted to the Municipality of Perugia, asking for protection and offering in exchange obedience and the payment of taxes (Codes of Submission to the City of Perugia). This was the period in which the construction of the castle began as a protection against attacks by Siena and Arezzo. A village with several churches was built around it, once home to about 400 inhabitants.
During the Middle Ages, both the Dominican and the Benedictine Olivetani orders were established on the island, remaining until the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1643, the island was sacked by Tuscan troops during a war with the Papal States for the possession of the Duchy of Castro. The counts of the noble Pianciani family from Spoleto bought the island in 1841 and turned it into a game reserve. In 1893 the property passed to Ferdinand Cesaroni, who gave it as a dowry to his niece. In 1939, it passed to Biagio Biagiotti, who began the construction of Casa Merlata, the Villa and the adjoining buildings. He also tried to re-establish agriculture among the inhabitants. When Count Citterio bought Polvese in 1959, he completed the work begun by Biagiotti, and had the Roman architect Pietro Porcinai build a swimming pool in an old sandstone quarry.
In the 1960s, the island was almost permanently abandoned. Later, in 1973, it was purchased by the Province of Perugia, who made it a Wildlife Protection Oasis, later renamed as an Educational Science Park. In 1993 it became part of the Trasimeno Nature Park.