Discovering Perugia

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Perugia, known all over the world as the city of chocolate and the Umbria Jazz festival, is a city with a lively atmosphere. It is busy all year round, also thanks to its two Universities: the Università per Stranieri and the Università degli Studi

The old town is full of architectural and artistic masterpieces, which blend harmoniously into a cityscape that was built over thousands of years.

Walking along the city streets, you will discover a mixture of Etruscan remains, the city walls, the Etruscan well and arch, and medieval monuments.. 
You'll stumble upon Piazza IV Novembre, the ancient forum, at the centre of which stands the Fontana Maggiore (1278), a majestic fountain decorated with bas-reliefs by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano
In the square, facing each other, there is also the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, symbol of spiritual power, and the Palazzo dei Priori, symbol of temporal power.  In this majestic Gothic building, the must-sees are the Sala dei Notari, a rectangular room with eight mighty Romanesque arches, and the frescoed National Gallery of Umbria, which preserves masterpieces of Italian art from the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century, including:  Piero della Francesca, Benozzo Gozzoli, Fra Angelico, Perugino and Pinturicchio.
Alongside, there is the Collegio del Cambio, the ancient site of the money-changers, with its pictorial cycle of frescoes by Perugino, and the Collegio della Mercanzia, the guild of merchants with its precious wooden stalls. 

The end of Corso Vannucci, the city's main shopping street, opens up into Piazza Italia, built after the unification of Italy on the remains of the Rocca Paolina, a medieval fortress erected in just three years (1540-1543) by Pope Paul III, as a symbol of papal power over the city.  Inside, you will find the ancient Quartiere dei Baglioni and the Porta Marzia, the southern Etruscan entrance to the city.

From the Giardini Carducci, you can admire the magnificent panorama of the Umbrian valley and the village of Porta San Pietro, dominated by the towers of the Basilica di San Pietro and the Chiesa di San Domenico.

If you stop in Perugia for more than one day, we recommend you visit the five rioni, or medieval villages.  Each of these villages is home to magnificent churches: do not miss the basilicas of San Pietro and San Domenico in Porta San Pietro; the Tempietto and the Convento di Monteripido in Porta Sant'Angelo; San Francesco al Prato and the Oratorio di San Bernardino in Porta Santa Susanna.

If you are travelling with children, we recommend a day at the Città della Domenica theme park, a nature park where you can enjoy an educational experience in contact with animals and the world of fairytales.