A little over 40 kilometers from Gallano Resort, you find Perugia, the capital city of Umbria. It is the ideal destination if you are looking to spend a day enjoying the slow pace of life in a city that still looks like a fortified medieval town. Full of artistic and architectural beauty, the historic center of Perugia encompasses over 2500 years of history. Home to a university that attracts students from all over the world, the city has also become an international community.
The best way to enjoy the ambience of Perugia is to stroll around the historic center as you marvel at churches and buildings that have survived the passage of time and that still represent an integral part of the urban fabric. Hearkening back to Perugia’s medieval days, a number of craft shops contribute to making this city a truly charming place.
What to see in Perugia
Perugia is a little gem nestled in the heart of Italy and a perfect destination to learn about the local history while enjoying panoramic views. Originally an Etruscan and a Roman settlement, Perugia boasts a 14th-century historic center: its large and small piazzas, pedestrian lanes and staircases beckon you to get a little lost in this delightful city.
Perugia was the cradle of different cultures and civilizations, therefore, it boasts a wide array of sites. The heartbeat of the city is Piazza IV Novembre, with the central Fontana Maggiore and the surrounding Palazzo dei Priori and Cathedral of San Lorenzo.
Extending from Piazza IV Novembre to Piazza Italia, Corso Vannucci is the main thoroughfare of the city. Named after painter Pietro Vannucci, or “Perugino”, this wide boulevard is filled with shops, stores, chocolate shops, and eateries and is considered the fashion center of the city. Along Corso Vannucci stands the National Gallery of Umbria, home to art masterpieces by Piero della Francesca, Pinturicchio, Beato Angelico, obviously Perugino, and many others. A number of iconic and majestic pieces of architecture go back to the earliest days of Perugia: the Etruscan Well, an impressive hydraulic structure; the Ipogeo dei Volumni, one of the most ancient and best preserved Etruscan funerary monuments; and the Etruscan Arch. The imposing Rocca Paolina, a 16th-century fortress built by Pope Paul III, is also well worth visiting.
While on your walking exploration of Perugia, be sure to take a little detour to the Medieval Aqueduct. This 4-kilometer-long structure of outstanding engineering was capable of supplying the historic center with water as it allowed it to flow in reverse direction.
FROM EUROCHOCOLATE TO PERUGINA: PERUGIA IS THE CITY OF CHOCOLATE
Perugia is famous in Italy and abroad for Eurochocolate. Held every year in October, it attracts thousands of visitors and gourmands. During the festival, the whole city turns into a huge open-air chocolate factory where visitors can taste and buy delicious treats and families can engage in a number of recreational activities.
The famous Baci Perugina were first made in Perugia in 1922. Originally called “punches” because their shape recalls a fist and the hazelnut resembles a knuckle, they then took the name Baci (“kisses”) and have now become a worldwide icon of taste and love. The Perugina factory is located just outside the city center. Here, a 1-hour and 15-minute tour of the Perugina House of Chocolate will lead you to explore the historical museum, learn about the chocolate production lines, and taste the Perugina products.