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Panicale (Perugia province)

A town of W central Umbria: 43°01.8N, 12°05.8E. Altitude: 431 m. Population in 2003: 5400.

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Part of the walls of Panicale.

Panicale is a hill town about 6 km south of Lake Trasimeno, on a side road you could take to go from Perugia (33 km northeast) to Chiusi just across the border in Tuscany (16 km west). The town is also 3 km E of Paciano; there has been an intermittent movement to regroup these two small places so near each other into a single comune, but so far nothing has come of it.

Probably founded by the Etruscans, the town is now a quiet place with two principal churches, S. Michele (17c) and S. Sebastiano (which houses two good paintings by Perugino), a circuit of medieval walls, a lot of old stone, and a fabulous view over Lake Trasimeno; in sum it's a beautiful place with good hotels and restaurants, and one of the little secrets of Umbria. "Little", only because it's now starting to see its share of foreigners, both vacationers and residents; those scouting for the mythical "undiscovered jewel" etc. are advised it's no such thing — people have been here before you. . . .

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The collegiate church of S. Michele Arcangelo.

If on the other hand the name of the town seems familiar to you, it is because of the painter Masolino da Panicale, who was from here but worked far from his native town, acquiring fame in Tuscany and beyond the confines of Italy in the first half of the 15c. (A small selection of his works can be found online on various sites, collected here.)

The nearby frazione of Tavernelle is also of very medieval appearance, although its main church dates only to the Renaissance.

A proper website will eventually appear here, since I've been to Panicale, which I liked a lot. In the meanwhile, you should find it useful to read the Aug. 4, 2000 entry of my diary, with another photo; for further (and much better) information, see the websites linked in the navigation bar at the bottom of this page.


Like most of the comuni in Italy, Panicale includes in its territory some smaller towns and hamlets, of a few hundred inhabitants if that, with a certain administrative identity of their own: as elsewhere in Italy, these are referred to as the frazioni of the comune (singular: frazione, literally a "fraction"): a complete list of them follows. I've only been to Missiano; any other links will be offsite.

Acquaiola • Acquaviva • Casalini • Colgiordano • Colle Calzolaro • Colle S. Paolo • Le Mura • Macereto • Missiano • Mongiovino • S. Martino • Tavernelle

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Page updated: 6 Jun 18