Visit Perugia and discover the old town, the museums,
the Etruscan and medieval monuments and enjoy the city life.
Perugia's Old Town
The Old Town of Perugia is built around the Fontana Maggiore and grows in a long series of ups and downs, roads and streets, alleys and stairways, underground routes, unusual and picturesque views of beautiful landscapes.
Numerous and impressive are the Etruscan monuments: the Etruscan Arch, the Etruscan Well and the ancient Etruscan walls (3 km long).
During the medieval period, Perugia has experienced a period of great wealth and ambition that has led it to enrich the Old Town area with splendid monuments: the Fontana Maggiore, the Aqueduct, the Sala dei Notari, Palazzo dei Priori, the Rocca Paolina (where the old medieval streets of Perugia are kept unchanged) and many others.
Perugia has an Old Town that must be discovered step by step, with no hurry, being fascinated by the history and the beautiful works of art scattered over these hills at the centre of Umbria.
The National Gallery of Umbria is located in Palazzo dei Priori and preserves the largest collection of Umbrian art from the thirteenth to the nineteenth century: in it are exhibited works by Arnolfo di Cambio, Duccio, Gentile da Fabriano, Benozzo Gozzoli, Pinturicchio, and, of course, Perugino.
The history of the ancient Etruscan city of Perugia is recounted in the Archaeological Museum, housed in the convent of San Domenico, and in the Ipogeo of Volumni, a wonderfully preserved Etruscan tomb dating back to the second half of the second century BC.
Other important museums to be visited are: the Collegio del Cambio, the Collegio della Mercanzia, the Chapel of San Severo (that contains a painting by Raphael), the Cathedral Museum and the Museum of the Academy of Fine Arts.
Perugia’s churches tell the ancient history of Perugia people’s faith and demonstrate the importance of Perugia inside the Papal States during the medieval period: several popes, in fact, resided in the city and four of them were elected in Perugia: Honorius III, Honorius IV, Celestine V and Clement V.
The Cathedral is dedicated to San Lorenzo, and is located on the main square, opposite to the Fontana Maggiore and Palazzo dei Priori. Inside of it, is guarded the wedding ring which, according to popular tradition, Joseph would give to Mary.
The Temple of San Michele Arcangelo, simply called “Tempietto”, is the oldest church in Perugia, dating back to the fifth century, but almost certainly it was built on an existing building of Roman worship, probably a mitreo, in turn built on an Etruscan temple, a sacred place to the city.
The churches of St. Dominic and St. Peter‘s are both in Corso Cavour. The first is decorated with a stained glass window, among the largest in Europe, while the second is a real treasure chest of works of art dating from the XV-XVI century. Within the Church of Saint Peter it is possible to visit one of the most ancient medieval gardens of Italy.