the great "Guelf strong-hold" rises up in the region's heart, with its
5 storical quarters closed-in by its Etruscan town walls. These
enormous bastions formed by cyclopic square masses, were constructed
22 centuries ago and are still visible for long stretches.
When the city of Rome was little more that an encampment of huts, one
could already enter the etruscan Perugia Italy using one of 7 portals,
among which one was particularly mighty, the Porta Pulchra or of
Augustus, dating back to Etruscan times. Entering the city via Porta
San Pietro, whose exterior was remodelled by Agostino di Duccio in
1475, you'll arrive at the basilica of St. Dominic on the right-hand
side; the very important National Archeological Museum of Umbria is to
be found in the adjacent cloisters and convent.
Continuing along, you'll reach the Piazza del Sopramuro, where the
15th century Palace of the Old University and the adjacent Palace of
the People's Captain look down on the square. Further on, after a
short climb, you'll find yourself in one of Italy's most important
squares, where you'll see the Priors'Palace, the Cathedral and the
13th century fountain Major Fountain at the center. These monuments
render the Piazza Grande of Perugia (now called Piazza IV Novembre) a
superb architectural complex. At the extreme end of Corso Vannucci
you'll find famous panoramic gardens built on the foundations of the
Rocca Paolina, a strong-hold built by Pope Paul III in 1540.
foundations contain, similar to under an enormous bell, an entire
quarter of the old Perugia: a dead city, a sort of Medieval Pompei
which has been brought tot light again and which is fascinating to
visit. Perugia's ascents and stairways are usually quite steep, both
the most ancient and the most recent. The way Via delle Prome is a
typical example. Leaving from the Augustus Arc, this way lead to the
upper point of Perugia, where used to be the castle of Porta Sole,
erected in the XIV century by the dal Gattapone, and destroyed later
for willing of the whole town people. A short visit in Perugia is
definetly interesting, but is a longer visit which will reveal all the
atistic jewels in detail. Even if you are on a short visit, you should
not miss the archtectural complex of St. Francesco, with the Oratory
of St. Bernardino, a masterpiece of Agostino di Duccio, who, in
covering the facade with bas-reliefs of enchanting grace and modelled
fineness made it a little poem of Renaissance sculpture.
Among the most important manifestations taking place in the city we
should absolutely mention the musical festival Umbria Jazz and the
gastronomic festival Eurochocolate.