Creative Writing professor Cynthia Clough and her class took the ferry across Lago Trasimeno to Isola Maggiore last week to find inspiration in writing. The weather could not have been better, and the class enjoyed hiking, dining, and working on writing exercises to extract some of their most creative ideas.
Isola Maggiore is a small island on Lake Trasimeno and a tiny fishing village with houses dating back to the 14th and the 16th centuries. It is the home of only 15 permanent residents, and gauging from the black and white postcards everywhere it’s clear that little has changed on the island’s single street. Visitors can find not only stunning views, but a healthy array of flora and fauna.
The islands main attractions are the church of San Michele Arcangelo that stands at the top of the hill. It is from the 12th century and has fine Umbrian school paintings from the late 13th century to the 15th century. There is also Guglielmi castle, built in 1885. It was built on the site previously occupied by the 1328 convent and church of St Francis. Oddly, the islanders specialize in making Irish lace. The technique was introduced in 1904 by the Marchesa Elena Guglielmi, when she imported an Irish housekeeper to the island.