Living in Italy means that we can take a short holiday to some amazingly beautiful places. One of the most beautiful is Perugia which is the capital of the Umbria region.
A lot of people may know the name of the town for the wrong reason as it was highly publicised due to the murder of Meredith Kercher from Leeds, England and associated media frenzy surrounding the multiple trials of Amanda Knox and Rudy Guede.
Perugia is so much more and has loads to offer tourists, both in the town and the surrounding areas.
Where is Perugia?
Perugia is about 100 miles north of Rome and 18 miles west of Assisi. It is one of the main Etruscian cities in Italy and is well-known for being one of the best cultural and artistic cities in the Country.
Perugia is located on a hill-top and is surrounded by the old city walls. I thought I would have trouble getting around due to the gradient of the streets. However, to my surprise and delight, there are escalators on the streets. These take you up to the top which enables you to have the most incredible view over the countryside.
Perugia is also famous for chocolate. The most famous is Perugina, whose “Baci” (kisses) are known and eaten throughout the world. The city hosts the most amazing chocolate festival every October!
The Underground City
One of the most surprising things we found in Perugia was the underground city. The visit begins from the cloister of the Canonica, via a side staircase. You will find yourself in the Sala del Conclave, where four Popes were elected: Honorius III, Honorius IV, Celestine V and Clement V. The large room looks like it is divided by a wall, built in the middle of the last century to support the floor of the cathedral above.
Leaving the room, you follow the route indicated, which will guide you to the remains of the Etruscan walls, built to make the acropolis of Perugia appear even more majestic. Here you can see a temple, perhaps dedicated to Juno-Hera (in Etruscan, Uni). This part of the town has been in use, without interruption since Etruscan times. Proof of this can be seen in the vault, of medieval origins, built in the foundations of the Cathedral which you can also visit, although we didn’t get the chance.
You can then walk on Perugia’s ancient cobbled road, first used by the Etruscans and later the Romans, and you can see the ruts left by cart wheels which are still visible today. We then followed the ancient Roman road and found ourselves below Piazza Cavallotti.
Places To Stay
The weather can get extremely hot during the summer. We were lucky enough to be staying in an agriturismo just outside the city called Fattoria Dei Comignoli run by Lanfranco Bartocci. Luckily the agriturismo had a wonderful pool for us to use which certainly came in handy. This is a fabulous place to stay and the hosts couldn’t do enough for us. Please check it out if you are looking for a place to stay when visiting the area.
All in all, Perugia is a fantastic place to visit. The city has some incredible sights as well as gorgeous food and drink, typical of the region. We can’t wait to go back!