Umbria's wonderful capitol
Perugia is the capital city of the region of Umbria as well as the capital of the largest of Umbria’s two provinces. It is vibrant and surprisingly young for a pretty much medieval city. Filled with many things to do — museums, churches, restaurants, shopping, concerts, and much more — you’re sure to need to spend several days there.
Encompassing several hilltops and valleys and, for motorists, 5 exits on the road to Siena and the A1 to Florence. Perugia is an ancient city with many sites dating back to the Etruscan period (the famed Etruscan Arch to name but one) but today is known as the home of several universities, including the Universtity for Foreigners.
Culturally, Perugia is also home to the famous painter Pietro Vannucci, called Perugino (even though he was technically born in Città della Pieve nearby). One of his greatest masterworks — not to be missed — are the frescoes of the Collegio del Cambio located on the main street, Corso Vannucci. The National Gallery of Umbria, housed in the Palazzo dei Priori, is the greatest collection of art in Umbria. It is not to be missed. There you will find works by Arnolfo di Cambio, Nicola e Giovanni Pisano, Duccio, Gentile da Fabriano, Beato Angelico, Benozzo Gozzoli, Giovanni Boccati, Piero della Francesca, Benedetto Bonfigli, Bartolomeo Caporali, Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, Perugino, Pintoricchio, to name a few.
There are many annual events in Perugia that fill its streets with visitors from the region but also from around the world. Two of the largest are the hugely popular Eurochocolate Festival (October), the Umbria Jazz Festival (summer). With thousands of people mobbing the city, make sure someone tells you where to park. But come and enjoy.
Oh, my favorite things to eat in Perugia? There is the famous Sandri chocolate shop on the Corso Vanucci (just across from the Collegio) that makes the most amazing hot chocolate you’ll ever have. There are also many really wonderful gelaterias you can choose from — Grom, for their amazing fruit gelatos and berry granita, being my favorite.
PARKING: There are many places to park in Perugia but this is the easiest to get to the escalators to the historic center.
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