Perugia has the honor of being the capital of the Umbria region and province of Umbria. Located in the center of the country, roughly equidistant from Florence and Rome, Perugia sits on a hill surrounded by valleys and mountains.
During Etruscan times in Italy, Perugia was one of the most important cities and prospered greatly due to its central location. During the Middle Ages, Perugia became a university city and was known for its devotion to the development of art and culture. The city still maintains this tradition today and hosts many festivals and events such as the Umbria Jazz Festival.
A visit to Perugia awaits you with a wealth of beautiful churches and historic buildings, as well as fantastic museums and attractions such as the Perugina Chocolate Factory. In addition, the surrounding countryside is filled with stunning scenery and rich national parks suitable for those who love nature. Perugia really has a lot to offer as a tourist destination and its combination of historical and natural attractions will keep you entertained for days.
Let's explore themThe best things to do in Perugia:
1. Kirche Saint Lawrence
There are several notable examples of cathedrals that have remained unfinished across Italy and the Cathedral of Perugia is one such structure.
Originally built in 1587, this cathedral is unique in that its front facade does not face the main square on which it was built.
The front facade is the wall that remains unfinished, giving the church a strange appearance.
However, the interior of the church is fully finished and richly decorated.
Several marble columns support the ornate ceiling, which is filled with beautiful frescoes.
In addition, one of the chapels contains the tomb of Pope Martin IV and various religious relics from Pope Innocent III and Urban IV. Finally, the cathedral also houses a small museum containing a selection of interesting religious artefacts and relics.
2. Praça IV November
Piazza IV Novembre is the main square in the center of Perugia and features a variety of fantastic historical buildings and the beautiful Fontana Maggiore.
In this beautiful piazza you will find the impressive Cathedral of Perugia, the Palazzo dei Priori, the Municipality of Perugia and the Logge di Braccio.
In the center of the square is the Fontana Maggiore, with a series of ornate statues and a central bronze bowl overflowing with water.
This charming square is a great place to admire historic architecture or as a base for a tour of Perugia.
3. Palazzo dei Priori
Decorated in ornate Gothic style, the Palazzo dei Priori is a huge building overlooking the Cathedral in Piazza IV Novembre.
This ancient building has been the center of the city since the 14th century and has played an important role in Perugia's politics.
At the front of this building is a grand spiral staircase and a row of ornate arched windows; The top of the palace is lined with battlements that make it look more like a castle.
Inside the palace there is a huge amount of rich decoration including some colorful frescoes depicting various biblical scenes.
4. Oratory of San Bernardino
Located next to the Church of San Francesco, the Oratory of San Bernardino is known for its bright facade and multicolored design.
You will find this magnificent building in the eastern part of the old town, about a 10-minute walk from Piazza IV Novembre.
It is considered the most important example of Renaissance art in Perugia for its front facade in colored polychrome marble.
The interior of this delightful oratory is equally decorative, featuring various works of art and countless gold embellishments.
5. Church of San Pietro
This former church and monastery complex has existed since the 11th century and has been an important seat of power for Perugia's leaders over the years.
Located in the southern part of the city center, the complex features a tall bell tower and a beautiful courtyard with a small fountain.
Inside the church is an important art collection, including a colorful fresco of Saint George and the Dragon and other works by various Renaissance artists.
The walls, arches and ceilings are covered in beautiful decoration and are simply breathtaking to behold.
6. Archaeological Museum
Located in Piazza Giordano Bruno, this charming museum is housed in a former convent of San Domenico.
Redesigned in 2009, the museum takes a chronological approach, ranging from prehistory to Roman times and so on.
In the separate collections you will find a wonderful display of artefacts collected from the province of Umbria, including Neolithic pottery, Bronze Age sculpture, weapons and funerary goods from Perugia and a number of Roman manuscripts.
It is also a reconstruction of an ancient Etruscan tomb found outside the city.
This museum really gives you a fantastic insight into the history of Umbria in such a detailed way.
7. The August book
Also known as the Etruscan Arch, this structure is one of the 7 remaining arches that served as the entrance to the city of Perugia in the past.
This in the 3rd century B.C. The Arch is one of the oldest structures in the city and is considered the best preserved example of the city's original defenses.
The front façade of the arch is of an enchanting design and some of the original Latin inscriptions can still be seen.
Various other aspects have been added to the arch over the years, and it now feels more like a fortress than a portal.
8. Tower of Knowledge
This imposing tower stands on Via Priori and is one of the tallest towers in the city.
Built in the 12th century, the tower is 46 meters high and belonged to the Sciri family.
The only ancient tower preserved in its original condition, this structure is extremely important and a fine example of architecture from the period.
Although simple in design, the tower is imposing and it is possible to climb to the top for fantastic panoramic views of Perugia.
9. Etruscan fountain
Perugia is full of unique and interesting sights and the Etruscan Fountain is one such attraction.
This fountain in Piazza Danti dates from the 3rd or 4th century BC. and is an architectural marvel.
At 37m deep and 5m in diameter, this colossal pit features an ornate bridge that spans the center and traverses the expanse below.
It is possible to walk to the bottom of the fountain to get a real sense of its proportions, and a visit to this fascinating site is a must when strolling through the city centre.
10. Perugina Chocolate Factory
Italy has some famous brands of chocolate and Baci Perugina is known across the country for its spectacular chocolate kisses.
Located outside of the city center, the Perugina Chocolate Factory offers a fantastic attraction alternative that's great for the whole family and especially for those with a sweet tooth! A tour of the factory takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. During this time, see the production line in action, sample delicious chocolate during a tasting, and spend time at the historical museum.
Of course there is also a gift shop where you can buy chocolate by your own weight if you wish!
11. Volumetric hypogeum
Another unique attraction outside of the historic city center, the Volumni Hypogeum is an exceptional site.
This ancient tomb was discovered in 1840 and dates from the 3rd century BC. and is part of a vast necropolis with over 200 separate tombs.
This series of tombs is dedicated to the Volumni family and contains many members of Perugia's wealthy elite from past centuries.
What makes this complex so special is its design and architecture - the building looks more like an ancient Roman structure with many palisades, gables and decorated columns.
12. Regionalpark Trasimenischer See
This huge water and regional park is located west of Perugia and can be reached by car in about 25 minutes.
With an area of 128 square kilometers, it is one of the largest lakes in the region and the fourth largest in Italy by area.
Around the lake there are a number of small coastal towns worth visiting.
Boat trips are also offered on the sheltered waters.
At the southern end of the lake is the interesting Isola Polvese - here you will find a beautiful stone castle and an interesting tourist information centre.
13. Monte Tezio Nature Park
North of Perugia lies the huge Monte Tezio and the natural park that surrounds it.
At 961 m high, the mountain is one of the highest in the region and the slopes are covered with green forests.
If you are looking for a place where you can hike and experience the beautiful nature of the Umbria region, this natural park is the perfect place.
The side of the mountain offers amazing views of the countryside and at the top there are several different sites such as a radio station and some old ruins of farmhouses etc.
On a clear day, you'll also be rewarded with fantastic views of Perugia below.
14. Monte Vibiano Weintour.
Perugia is surrounded by fantastic countryside and this region of Italy is known for its fine wine production.
The Monte Vibiano winery is a wonderful place to visit and the brilliant eco tour gives you the chance to explore the vineyards and taste some of the delicious wines.
During the tour, you'll drive electric buggies around the complex and observe the day-to-day operations of the winery, such as the grape harvest, olive harvest, and the winemaking itself.
The winery owners are extremely friendly and will ensure that your tour is personal and memorable.
15. Via dell'Acquedotto
This ancient path served as an aqueduct to transport fresh water through the city of Perugia and is now a public promenade.
From the edge of Via Cesare Battisti to the monastery of San Benedetto you can walk the entire length of the aqueduct.
This wonderful path offers a different view and you can walk between the historical building in the center of the old town and also see the original decorated arches of the aqueduct.
Where to sleep:The best hotels in Perugia, Italy
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