Valleys cut by rivers, leafy peaks and hills crowned by castles and towns; so is the Umbria region, the “green heart” of Italy that goes somewhat unnoticed despite the historical, cultural and natural wealth it houses. Its capital, Perugiait’s a city walled medieval-looking, which was under the firm control of the Vatican for centuries.


Aerial view of the old town and port of Alghero, Sardinia (Italy).


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Papal power over Perugia

In one day you can visit the main monuments of this city. It is advisable to start with Rocca Paolinaa large fortress located in the historic center of the city that dates back to the 16th century and was built by Pope Paul III.

Facade of the 16th century fortress Rocca Paolina, in Perugia, Italy.
Facade of the 16th century fortress Rocca Paolina, in Perugia, Italy.

The Church, to finance one of its wars, tried to increase the tax paid on salt. The Peruvians did not like this and they rebelled against this demand. Given this response, the papal army occupied the town and this mass was built as demonstration of power and control of the Vatican.

Rocca Paolina was disused for centuries, and Perugia was never attacked and remained under the control of the Vatican until 1860. Currently, part of the wall is preserved and the network of tunnels beneath the city.


El Djem Amphitheater.


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Architectural beauty

After Rocca Perugia it’s time to get to know the historic center on foot. One of the nerve centers of Perugia is the IV November Squarea beautiful space whose core is the Fontana Maggiorea white and pink stone fountain with a bronze basin and detailed medieval decoration.

Fontana Maggiore in Piazza IV Novembre in the old center of Perugia, Italy.
Fontana Maggiore in Piazza IV Novembre in the old center of Perugia, Italy.

Next to Plaza IV Novembre stands the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, Renaissance style. This temple was never completed, a fact that can be seen by comparing its austere façade with its left flank, more ornate and with more careful finishes. Inside is supposedly the Mary’s wedding ring that Joseph gave him.

IV Novembre Square located in the historic center of Perugia, in the center the Fontana Maggiore and the Cathedral of San Lorenzo in the background.
IV Novembre Square located in the historic center of Perugia, in the center the Fontana Maggiore and the Cathedral of San Lorenzo in the background.

The square is also presided over by Palazzo dei Prioria gothic building emblem of the city that was the seat of government municipal for more than 700 years and currently houses the National Gallery of Perugia.

It is essential to go through the stairs under the remains of the aqueduct, a work of medieval engineering that carried water upward using the principle of communicating vessels. It’s a long, steep climb, but it’s made up for by the views of Perugia from above.

Views below the Perugia aqueduct, Italy.
Views below the Perugia aqueduct, Italy.


Colored houses of Brisighella.


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Chocolate city

Every year Perugia hosts the annual Eurochocolate fair which attracts both national and international tourists in search of tastings of the “black gold”. It is a week where the historic center of the city becomes a showcase for one of the largest chocolate exhibitions of Europe. Its 30th anniversary will take place the week of November 15 to 24, 2024.

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That Perugia is the host of this event is no coincidence, since one of the most famous Italian confectioneries, Perugina (now under the Nestlé umbrella). La Perugina is famous for its chocolate “baci”, wrapped with a love note. To learn more about this city’s relationship with chocolate, the town has the Chocolate House and Historical Museum of Peruginafounded in 1907 by several businessmen of the time, including Francesco Buitoni, creator of the “baci”.

How to get to Perugia

Perugia is located 152 kilometers from Florence already 171 km from Rome (two hours by car more or less). Can arrive by train from Rome for 30 euros one way, by bus also from 12 euros round trip.


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