Are you thinking of visiting a small town in Italy to enjoy the everyday life of Italy?
Travelling can be exhausting. So why not schedule in a ‘day off’ of your trip and find a relaxing spot to take it easy.
In Umbria I love Corciano, a beautiful medieval town with great vistas and fantastic food and wine.
You’ll find Corciano half way between Perugia and Lake Trasimeno. It’s a great little hideaway to escape for a day or a week.
Corciano is perfect for escaping the push and pull of crowds. A breath of fresh air in central Italy.
Escape to the Beautiful Small Town of Corciano
Corciano is a small medieval hilltop town surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and oak forests.
It looks out over Lake Trasimeno and the Tuscan and Umbrian hills.
A quiet spot full of local life. You can enjoy a cappuccino at the local bar sitting out in the main piazza with a view of Trasimeno lake.
Corciano is one of the small towns featured on the list ‘I
Wonder the narrow medieval streets for a spot to soak up the view and some sun. There are museums on the Etruscan and medieval age, art everywhere and the perfect spot to enjoy some local food and wines.
The name Corciano comes from its mythical founder Coragino who travelled with Ulysses.
The medieval hilltop town already had people living here in 1000 AD.
From the middle ages circular walls enclosed the town for protection. Most of these medieval walls are still intact today.
A rural, hilly area with a great deal of protected woods makes it a perfect spot for mountain bikers, road bicyclists and hikers.
Hunters also use the woods for hunting wild boar and birds, truffles and mushrooms. The town itself is rather sleepy with a bakery, a few bars to grab a coffee and a nursery school.
Getting To Corciano
Corciano is between Lake Trasimeno and Perugia.
The easiest way to visit is by renting a car. Or you can catch a bus from Perugia. The train station, called Ellera-Corciano, is far from the historic center, so you’d need a taxi to complete the journey.
A good spot to park is at the Tourist Information office, which is also the Antiquarium di Corciano. I recommend parking here for visiting the whole town as it is just outside of the historic town center.
The Food Of Corciano
Corciano is an area known for olive oil production, grains and wine.
Il Convento is a restaurant inside the church of San Francesco. Open all week, on the weekends they also have thin pizzas.
While enjoying the Piazza dei Caduti get a gelato or cafe at the bar or a treat from the bakery.
A great present to take home is the local honey. A father and son team run Apicoltura Galli, found just outside the historic center. They produce national and international award-winning honey.
Museums and Historic S
In Ellera, just below Corciano, find the Necropoli Etrusca di Strozzacapponi. There are 50 Etruscans tombs ranging from the 3rd to 1rst century BC. Nearby landmarks include the Perugia Golf Club and the Perugino chocolate factory. Combine the trip with a tour of the chocolate factory.
The gate tower which remains is called Torrione Porta Santa Maria and was built in 1482. Inside is a museum which displays military armor, statues and paintings. Included is Benedetto Bonfigli’s Gonfalone completed in 1472.
Corciano has the Antiquarium di Corciano, a museum with a collection of artifacts from the paleontological era, the Etruscan era and the Roman era.
Find the church of Santa Maria Assunta to see a painting by ‘Il Perugino’ called Assunta from 1513. There is also a banner for the city by Bonfigli painted in 1472.
There are several small museums in Corciano. One is inside the 16th century church of San Cristoforo, called the museum of the Pievania. Almost next door, on via Tarragone, is a look at what a peasant’s home would be like in the middle ages.
More 16th century architecture includes: the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo and the Palazzo dei Priori.
There is a castle a kilometer down the road from Corciano, called Pieve del Vescovo. The castle is first referenced in the 1200s. It was an important fortress in the late 1300s for aristocrats fleeing Perugia. Then in 1560s the castle became a residence for the Archbishop of Perugia, Gioacchino Pecci, who later became Pope Leo XIII.
Corciano’s festival celebrating the arrival of spring.
It highlights artisans from all over Umbria. Booths throughout the town display woodworking, ceramics, metalwork and fabric arts by local craftspeople.
A medieval themed event, they turn restaurants into taverns and the theater puts on plays and concerts.
Agosto Corcianese – Corciano Festival
For over fifty years, Corciano celebrates the ten days leading up to August 15th with a medieval festival.
For almost two weeks there is music, theater, lectures and dance all in costumes from the 1400s.
*August 15th is called Ferragosto and a National holiday, find out more here*
Corciano Castello di vino
Held the first weekend in October, around 15 vineyards from the Trasimeno Lake area set up booths around the town of Corciano for wine tastings.
Even if wine isn’t your thing, look for the local foods to try, as well music and art.
There are a few main booths around the town that you buy an ‘official’ wine glass for wine tasting. With the glass comes tickets for trying each vineyards wine.
You walk around the town with your glass and stop in at each cantina’s room trying one or two of their wines.
You’ll find reds, whites, roses and even sparkling wine.
For the food you buy other tickets to get things like roasted chestnuts, chips, and suppli.
There is an award ceremony on Sunday for the best red wine, the best white wine and the best rose.
It’s a very popular event. that attracts thousands of people. I strongly recommend planning on coming for two afternoons. There is a lot of wine to try!
Corciano Dolce Borgo
The last weekend of October, Corciano takes part in Euro Chocolate.
Euro Chocolate is a ten day festival of all things chocolate based in Perugia.
For the weekend in Corciano there are many chocolates and chocolate pastries to sample and for sale.
Corciano Presepe or Corciano Nativity scene
For most of December till January 6th the town becomes a Nativity scene with life size sculptures throughout the entire town.
I’d recommend going at dusk for a beautiful sunset and a hot drink after. On the weekends there’s usually small market selling local crafts and food.
- From 400 BC the Etruscans inhabited the area, followed by the Romans.
- In 1136 the Bishop of Perugia writes of Corciano on a list of possession of Pope Innocence II.
- In 1223 Saint Francis passed through on his return to Assisi from the island of Maggiore on Lake Trasimeno where he had spent Lent. The Gothic style church of San Francesco, built in memory of his visit, is now a museum and the restaurant “Il Convento”.
- The Arco della Vittoria contro Todi, or the Arc from the victory against Todi, was built in 1310. Found just up from the Porta Santa Maria it has a distinctive pointed peak. Keep on walking up to find the 16th century well in the main piazza called Coragino.
- In 1416 a soldier from Montone conquered Corciano after a long siege. To improve the town’s defences in 1482 the town built the gate tower Torrione of Porta Santa Maria.
For the best views and Photos
Just before the city center is the well-situated church of Sant’Agostino. I like taking photos here; the church is in an olive grove with an old rusty gate at the entrance. It dates from 1334 and faces the town of Corciano.
To see Corciano from above, turn up via Panoramica on Colle della Trinita. There are several spots to stop and take photos or just enjoy the view.
A sleepy town full of locals, Corciano is a pretty spot to spend a low key day.
A good place to stop when driving between Lago Trasimeno and Perugia or Cortona and Assisi.
With easy parking, get out of the car and stretch your legs. Order a cappuccino, have lunch, or simply a gelato and enjoy the fantastic views, art and ancient history.
Heading towards Lake Trasimeno next?
Why not check out the tour I take my friends and family on here?