Perugia is the capital city in the Italian region on Umbria as well as a province in that region. Located in central Italy, the city is crossed by the might Tiber River. Perugia covers a large hilly area with valleys. In this area visitors will have the chance to enjoy an atmosphere of bygone times, among the medieval paths, the palaces, the castles and the fortresses of charming villages and will probably feel a strong impulse to come back one day. Located in the centre of Italy, the Province of Perugia is Umbria’s largest, covering two-thirds of the entire region. Perugia has an important university that attracts many foreign students, is a major center of medieval art, has a stunningly beautiful central area and is home of the Umbria Jazz Festival. The city is a major producer of chocolates.
General Information and History
Over the centuries Perugia has been dominated by numerous different peoples, evidence of which can be found in the many archaeological remains. Starting with the Etruscans, who probably founded Perugia in the 6th century B.C. Remains of the Roman domination include paved roads, the forum, the cisterns, the Roman amphitheatre outside Porta Marzia, the thermal baths and what is assumed to be a mausoleum, located under St. Peter’s bell tower. Perugia lies on a hill, with the old town spreading all around it, and partly surrounded by Etruscan and Medieval Walls. There are two city walls: that external, dating back to the Middle Ages, is still intact for several miles and is marked by several entrances, such as the Cassero di Porta Sant’Angelo. The inner, Etruscan wall was built using huge rocks.
Sights to See in Perugia
- Fontana Maggiore– This large medieval fountain is found between the cathedral and the Palazzo dei Priori. It was made between 1277 and 1278 by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano as part of Perugia’s celebrations of its independence. On the twenty-five sides of the basin are sculptures representing; prophets and saints, the work of the seasons, signs of the zodiac, Bible scenes and events from Roman history.
- Undergound Perugia– The escalators from the lower town lead up through the remains of Rocca Paolina which was a 16th-century fortress. This was built on top of medieval streets, which were used as foundations, and before coming out into daylight at Piazza Italia you go through some of these medieval streets covered with brick ceilings when the fortress was built. Little now remains of the fortress itself.
What to do in Perugia
- Umbria Jazz – The Umbrian Jazz festival takes place all over Umbria but is centered on Perugia, with a large number of concerts both free and with admission fee. Over the years the Festival has attracted just about every famous jazz player. The Festival takes place for a week and two weekends in the middle of July every year. During this period Perugia has a really beautiful atmosphere, with jazz concerts in the center of the city
- Eurochoclate– Perugia is home to the producers of Perugina and Baci chocolates. It hosts a very popular annual chocolate festival every October.
- Music Fest Perugia– Over two weeks in August, Music Fest Perugia produces classical concerts in the historical and sumptuous surroundings of Sala dei Notari, Basilica di San Pietro, the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo and the Caio Melisso. Performed by a combination of world famous professionals, and their most promising students, Music Fest Perugia aims to keep the classical repertoire vibrant and alive.
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