Paciano panorama, Umbria, Italy ©AndrewJonesfoto.com
Paciano panorama ©AndrewJonesfoto.com

PACIANO

From Villa Tartagli Bassi a short walk into a delightful little town.

It’s a short walk downhill from Villa Tartagli Bassi into Paciano, a delightful little town of fewer than 1,000 residents. Paciano is one of the Borghi Più Belli d’Italia – a club of the most beautiful villages of Italy, and with good reason. The walled medieval town centre dating from the 1300s, with its characteristic stone and brick buildings, arched gateways and streets crisscrossed by alleyways, is pure charm. Its elevated position provides unimpeded views over miles of countryside and a cooling breeze each evening in the summer. But there’s more to Paciano than stone walls and lovely panoramas. Paciano is an easy-going and friendly community, far from the hustle of places dominated by tourism. As a visitor you’ll be welcomed warmly as the pacianesi go about their daily business.

 

Countryside around Paciano ©Leslie Busby.

Paciano, Flowers in the streets ©Leanne Harvey.

Start your day with a “Buongiorno” and a smile from Franco at the Bar Boldrini, a frothy cappuccino and warm cornetto, or later in the day an ice cream or an aperitivo, all to be enjoyed on the panoramic terrace. Franco sets out a big TV screen on summer evenings for all to watch anytime the World Cup or European football championships are on.

Bar Boldrini. View from the terrace @Leslie Busby.

Franco at Bar Boldrini, Paciano ©Leslie Busby.

Next door to the bar you can pick up groceries at Romano and Giulia’s Conad City.

Giulia at the deli counter ©Leslie Busby

Romano at his grocery store in Paciano. ©Leslie Busby

Families with young children tend to sit in the public gardens just below the old town walls once the heat of the day has passed while their kids play in the playground.

Paciano public gardens and children’s playground ©Leanne Harvey

Palazzo Baldeschi and Trasimemo (Bank of Memories)

Monica the weaver, whose magic loom and shop is close by, and Solidea the ceramicist, run workshops through the year for anyone who wants to practice their hand at weaving and pottery making. Out back is a splendid rose and lavender garden where sometimes there are public events.

Solidea the ceramist. Her pottery creations are unique, hand made and skilfully painted.  

Not many people live within the town walls anymore but as you wander up to the Piazza della Repubblica at its centre you’ll come to the newly restored Palazzo Baldeschi, the 16th century home of the aristocratic Baldeschi family. This lovely building houses the Tourist Office and the Banca della Memoria museum (Bank of Memories) – called Trasimemo – which features several of the traditional crafts of the Trasimeno zone.

Paciano Palazzo Baldeschi garden, Umbria, Italy ©AndrewJonesfoto.com

Palazzo Baldeschi garden in Paciano ©AndrewJonesfoto.com

Monica and her creations, hand woven on an ancient wooden loom.

Anna and Riccardo run the bar in the Piazza della Repubblica, La Sosta di Giano, with tables in the piazza, a good selection of wines and free WiFi.

Wine Bar La Sosta di Giano in the town center. ©Leslie Busby

 At the Macelleria Renato and Antonio offer excellent sausages and other good quality fresh meat as well as a small selection of local cheeses, cured meats and some cooked food to take away. During the summer they serve light meals in the piazza.

Renato and Antonio offer their deli product and high quality meat. ©Leslie Busby

La Sosta di Giano outside tables and town hall in Paciano ©AndrewJonesfoto.com

La Sosta di Giano outside tables and town hall in Paciano ©AndrewJonesfoto.com

Town festival in Paciano ©Tim Holt

Olive oil winter festival in Paciano ©Tim Holt

Just up the hill from the piazza is a new gift shop, L’Antico Sipario, selling Umbrian and Tuscan products, including food, ceramics and body care products made from olive oil. In 2016 the Bittoni family began their careful restoration of the building which used to be a convent and the local theatre (sipario means theatre curtain). Guided tours of Paciano in English can be arranged here.

Paciano, Rita and Claudio at Antico Sipario gift shop. ©Leslie Busby.

Antico Sipario, local products from Umbria and Tuscany in Paciano. ©Leslie Busby.

Lia and Fausto home made organic bread bakery in Paciano. 

There is a German woman in Paciano, Lia, who makes wonderful breads (made with mostly organic flours) for sale, including a spelt-flour bread for the gluten intolerant. The bakery, called Lo Scoiattolo (the squirrel) is run from her home just below the village and she and her husband Fausto open their home on Sunday and Tuesday mornings to those wanting to buy bread and maybe linger for a coffee around their big kitchen table or on their terrace.

Home made bread and specialty at Lo Scoiatttolo bakery in Paciano. 

Paciano has two great restaurants in town.

Both restaurants offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

Chiara, her mother Rossana and the crew at L’Oca Bruciata run a relaxed, friendly place with some of the best pizza in the area and a wide range of other delicious dishes. Many of their vegetables come from their own garden. The terrace at l’Oca is probably the liveliest place in town on a summer evening.

The terrace at l’Oca Bruciata ©AndrewJonesPhoto.com

L’Oca Bruciata terrace in a summer evening  ©AndrewJonesfoto.com

Chiara, Rossana and the crew at L’oca Bruciata   ©Leslie Busby.

 Just up the hill at the entrance to the old town, the Locanda Manfredi is a sweet place with a lovely terrace out back and a good variety of tasty local dishes. Massimo is a kind and attentive host.

Locanda Manfredi in Paciano.

Summer terrace with views towards Lake Trasimeno

Just across the valley from us you’ll see a pink farmhouse surrounded by olive groves – that’s Ristorante Il Casale, renowned for its delicious country fare. Run by chef Giuseppina and her husband Eraldo you’re sure to have a friendly welcome here. When the weather permits it a meal on their outdoor terrace looking back to Paciano and on to the Lake is a delight. The menu includes many vegetarian options.

Giuseppina is the Chef at Il Casale, Paciano.

Il Casale summer patio.

The fourth restaurant is down along the main road just after you’ve turned left to go to Moiano and Chiusi. Domenico’s Poderaccio is a relaxed, intimate place where you can enjoy both seafood and meat dishes.

Il Poderaccio front porch.

Il Poderaccio dining room