Perugia is a very lively city, always young thanks to the costant presence of many Italian and foreign students. This city if full of things to do and to see. What we are offering now is a sample of what we like of Perugia: loyal to its past, unusual and curious and…very sweet!
Perugia is the capitol town of Umbria. The city is on the top of a wavy hill with a long sequence of peaks. A lot of history passed through here and we can find its marks once arrived in the old town centre: from Rocca Paolina, Piazza Italia and Corso Vannucci to Piazza IV Novembre with its beautiful Fontana Maggiore, the Cathedral, Palazzo dei Priori and the museum Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria (National Gallery of Umbria) dominate the old centre. Perugia is a rise and fall of small alleys interwined among medieval palaces and squares, unusual corners where shouts of inhabitants are mixed to the sound of many multilingual students that live in the city, location not only of an important Aetheneum operative since the 1300s, but also of the most antique Università per Stranieri (University for Foreigners) of Italy. This day will be dedicated to the visit of old centre, with ‘necessary stages’ in the elegant cafè for an aperitif or a cappuccino, without scorning a good lunch.
Just outside the old centre, we find the majestic Abbazia di San Pietro (San Pietro Abbey), an antique Benedictine complex which includes a priceless artistic patrimony and a treasure chest. Although deprived of many of its masterpieces by Napoleonic troops, it has a long list of masterpieces of some of the biggest artists of any times, such as Raffello, Caravaggio, Perugino and Vasari, just to name a few.
Intriguing for its genre it’s the view of adjacent Orto Medievale (Medieval Garden) which represents a very interesting interpretation in a symbolic tone of a garden in a Benedectine complex, where the continous presence of water was a rule. Walking in this pleasant garden will bring you back in the past and will allow you to forget the chaotic routine out of its walls. It’s really interesting then, spending some time in the widest orto botanico della Facoltà di Agraria (botanical garden of Department of Agriculture) – hosted inside the Abbey, in which there are also an alpine garden, a zen garden and a small lake. The tour of curiosity goes on with the visit of the workshops: a walk through those who learnt crafts from tradition and from history introducing craftsmanship in the everyday life.
Dividing Perugia from the famous ‘Bacio ’ it’s a very difficult challenge: since1920 this famous praline with love sentences inside, has been taken around the world and has become an icon of Perugia. Inside the modern factory, there’s the characteristic Museo Storico Perugina (Historical Museum of Perugina) that recalls the story of this confectionary factory through funny interventions and rarities that make you drool and prepare your senses to a sweet tasting! (Possible lessons of chocolate making)
Umbria as ‘green heart of Italy’ is a common imagine, even a bit ordinary. But, in this region, there’s nothing of ordinary. Here the nature is the absolute protagonist, with the variety and richness of the landscape similar to other few Italian countries. From the snow-clad mountains which in winter welcome the ski lovers, to the gentle hills on the Trasimeno lake: colours mark the time of seasons and the passages through the different territories. The aspect of the nature marks the structure of the locations, of the villages up on the hills and the need to build castles and fortresses for defending the territory. The nature has been the Muse of the art you can find here, perfectly mixed with the environment, without forgetting that the landscape variety is the basis of the ample choice and the genuineness of the products that colour the wine and food palette of Umbria. There are many ways for being part of the deep soul of this welcoming, comforting, regenerating and exciting nature. Take the opportunity for a stay in Umbria just for discovering the thousand aspects of its nature and for discovering yourself.