About Trasimene Battlefield
Trasimene Battlefield marks the site of the Battle of Trasimene, fought in 217 BC between Hannibal of Carthage and the Consul Flaminius of Rome. Trasimene was one of the major battles of the Second Punic War and a crushing defeat for Rome.
Trasimene Battlefield history
During the encounter, Hannibal – a gifted strategist – tricked the Roman consul Flaminius into following him along the northern side of Lake Trasimene through thick fog. Meanwhile the Carthaginian general had ranged his troops along the slope above the lake’s edge where Flaminius marched.
The Roman army walked straight into a trap. Attacked on all sides and with no visibility, re-organising and issuing effective orders was impossible. As the trap was sprung, the Romans were in complete disarray and Polybius says “death took them unawares while they were still wondering what to do” (III. 84).
The Romans were slaughtered where they stood or forced back into Lake Trasimene where they were picked off by the cavalry or drowned. 15,000 Romans died, Flaminius among them.
Trasimene Battlefield today
Today, there are picture boards describing the events of the battle all along the former coast of Lake Trasimene starting from the coordinates marked on the map. Winding to Sanguineto (named after the battle literally meaning ‘running with blood’) and on to Tuoro.
It is a beautiful area with many fantastic towns within easy reach including Cortona and Perugia and there are many Roman/Hanniballic references in the area, such as streets being named after the historical figures involved. Furthermore excavations both terrestrial and underwater are on-going here to locate the exact site of the battle.
Getting to Trasimene Battlefield
Travelling around the lake by car is easy: follow the SR71, SR599 round to Montebuono and SP316 to Torricella. There is a train and bus stop in Tuoro (from where you can also get a boat out to Isola Maggiore) with links to Terontola Cortona, Foligno and Perugia.