Castel Rigone, a hamlet of Passignano sul Trasimeno, is a medieval village, located 650 meters above sea level, from which, as from a panoramic terrace, you can see magnificent 360-degree views of Lake Trasimeno and the surrounding mountains.
Numerous panoramic panels explain how to identify the Penna and Fumaiolo mountains to the north, the Sibillini mountains and the Gran Sasso di Italia to the east, the Amiata and Cetona mountains to the south. And many more.
Even the famous Italian painter Gerardo Dottori of the futurist current of the 20th century fell in love with this landscape that is always present in his paintings, as a protagonist or as a secondary element.
Hilly and mountainous territory. it is also an ideal starting point for lovers of trekking, cycling, horseback riding and bird watching. Here men and Nature have created something wonderful!
There are several theories on the origins of the first settlements and its name. The most legendary refers to the year 543 AD when Ostrogothic barbarian hordes led by King Baduila called Totila (the immortal), besieged Perugia. According to the historian Marco Ciatti, Rigo – lieutenant of Totila – in this period built a first fortified settlement in this elevated and easily defensible place. Hence the name: Castel Rigone. Ciatti himself, however, also puts forward the hypothesis that the castle was built by some noble family whose members have the name of Enrico, Enrigo or Rigone from whom the castle took its name.
The first official document in which the castle is mentioned is that of 1297 in which a group of citizens asked the magistrates of Perugia to build a castle where the Curte Rigonis stood. At the time Perugia was a free municipality.
A court is a group of buildings erected around a common courtyard.
By “castle” we must not only mean the noble buildings, the eagle’s nest manors of the powerful feudal lords, but generally the villages surrounded by walls with doors and defense towers, as Castel Rigone probably appeared.
In the Gallery of geographical maps of the Vatican Museums, built around 1580, Castel Rigone is represented with its towers both in the maps of the Agro Perugino and in those of the Agro Spoletino, once all lands of the Popes. The original walls are no longer there, but the four towers and the main one are still inhabited, although lower and without the battlements of the past.
Castel Rigone is therefore an ancient village, remained almost intact and rich in more than seven centuries of history, as evidenced by the Alinari photos of the early 20th century and the 2021 photos of the country seen from the East.
Some monuments and buildings are impressive and speak for themselves, but others need to be told: history and its remembrance are important and not to be lost. One cannot understand the present without knowing the past, even that of a town as small as Castel Rigone, but which reflects the history of all of Italy.
A village that, although ancient, tells its own story with modern technology.
In 2020, in fact, a “Historical and artistic itinerary with free and multilingual QR code service in Castel Rigone” was created on the initiative of a resident and sponsored by the Proloco* of Castel Rigone and the Municipality of Passignano sul Trasimeno. This modern multilingual technology welcomes the visitor 24 hours a day throughout the year sharing the history and art of this village thanks to a narrating voice or a written text with all those who have some time and a smartphone to scan the signs with a QR code placed in the most significant corners of the village and in the panoramic places.
The languages offered are: Italian, English, French, Spanish, German and Portuguese. In the App there is also an archive of historical photographic images (some also of the famous Alinari Company) of the village in the past. Besides, an interactive map allows access to the rare stages of the route that have architectural barriers. The presence of signs with a QR code to be scanned, as well as at the Sanctuary, in the most significant corners of the village – next to the churches, the old palaces, the towers, the door of the castle and the panoramic places – allows visitors to enjoy the stories and the “tiny” history, the one that in past centuries until the most recent years has marked the lives of its inhabitants and whose signs and testimonies can be traced in its buildings and streets.
This walk is also very suitable for school groups thanks to the possibility of ranging between history, geography, art and various curiosities.
And now… Let’s walk around the village headphones in our ears
Project and texts by Clorinda Baldi with the patronage and collaboration of the Municipality of Passignano and the Proloco of Castel Rigone
*local association with the main aim of promoting the place