“Once upon a time an Etruscan prince named Trasimeno stood on the bank of a lake and fell in love with the nymph Agilla. This was a hopeless love, as he belonged to earth and she was a sea creature, so Trasimeno jumped into the lake to reach his beloved and drowned. In the evenings of August, when a light breeze gently caresses the water, you could still hear a distant wail, as if Agilla sighed strong for the lack of his beloved”. This is a tale we were told by Ilio and Matteo, inhabitants of Castiglione del Lago and owners of L’Acquario Restaurants.
It’s raining outside.
The leaden sky on the horizon merges with the waters of the lake and in a gloomy day, it is not hard to imagine the nymph being desperate for her loss.
Castiglione del Lago
Monday morning, November, lunchtime.
The trip to Umbria is coming to an end, but before our journey back to Milan, we stop in this village at 120km far from Florence and 180km from Rome. Castiglione del Lago became one of the most impregnable fortresses of the Middle Ages thanks to Federico II of the Svevia dynasty. The strong wind and rain hiss through the narrow slits, while the castle’s defence towers watch as beacons on the dark waters of Trasimeno Lake. Along Corso Vittorio Emanuele, many shops are closed, the windows of the houses shut, but we enjoy the pleasure of walking relaxed in the rain. No hurry, no time limits, just the three of us and a languor in the stomach.
By pure instinct, we choose L’Acquario Restaurant, the place with the longest tradition in the town of Castiglione. We are immediately stroked the intimate, relaxed atmosphere. Ilio, one of the owners who lead for three generations, welcomes us while Federico is still intent on studying the aquarium at the entrance.
Just a German couple and our family in the room.
We choose typical Umbrian dishes. While we taste a delicate fish lake soup, pici with duck sauce and a fantastic plate of pasta, Ilio tells us all the love for this place: Grandma Irene’s passion preparing meals in the kitchen, fine local products used in the Acquario cuisine and flavours and aromas typical of Umbria. Their food is dedicated to those who appreciate the high quality of ingredients that compose a superb dish.
Perfumes, flavours and products are imbued with the genuine Umbrian tastes. Smoked tinca fish mousse, Trasimeno caviar, eel galantine with lentils, pike and truggle pasta, hand-rolled pasta in goose sauce, eel in traditional tegamaccio sauce and carpa regina in a bread crust… are the best Acquario’s special dishes!
Good to know
- How to get there: by car from the North A1 highway, exit at Bettole-Valdichiana and head towards Perugia, exit at Castiglione del Lago. From the South, A1 highway exit at Chiusi, follow signs for Lago Trasimeno/ Castiglione del Lago. By Train: Castiglione del Lago railway station. By plane: S.Egidio airport (Perugia) is 50km far. The restaurant is inside the city walls.
- Parking: there are many parking areas just outside the walls.Vehicles access inside the ancient walls is strictly forbidden.
- Opening hours: the restaurant is open every day from 12-14.30 and 19-22.30. Closed on Wednesdays and from November to March it’s closed on Tuesdays as well.
- Budget: menù 30-35€, kids are offered with a special fare
- Children facilities: although baby chairs are available, toddlers may prefer to seat on the bench, as Federico did. No changing rooms on site.
- Nearby activities: for active guests, 16 routes welcome bikers and trekkers around Trasimeno Lake, for those who prefer to relax and enjoy the sun shining, Maggiore and Polvese isles can’t wait to be discovered.
Information and Booking
Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 69
06061 Castiglione del Lago – Perugia