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Perugia, via Bontempi
Urban trekking

Perugia and its Neighbourhoods

Urban Trekking in the neighbourhoods of Perugia: the Porta Sole route

We will accompany you in the discovery of the Porta Sole (Gate of the Sun) neighbourhood, so-called because of its east-facing position. The colour of the Porta Sole district is white, associated with the light shades recalling sunlight, and flour, which passed through here coming from the mills along the River Tiber, travelling along the "via regale". Your starting point is Piazza IV Novembre: from here, take via Calderini until you reach nearby Piazza Matteotti. On the left, take the narrow and high Via Volte della Pace, one of the most characteristic in the city, covered by crossed vaults which follow the curved path of the city's Etruscan walls.


Walk along the road until you reach the junction with via Bontempi to reach Piazza Piccinino, in the centre of which stands the pozzo Sorbello and where you can see the ruins of an ancient medieval tower. You'll notice a church with an unfinished façade, called the Chiesa della Compagnia della Morte, which was established to provide burial places for the unburied dead or those who had been buried on un-consecrated land. At number 9 Piazza Piccinino you'll find palazzo Bourbon Sorbello – home of the Casa Museo of the same name – which, like the others beside it rests on the Etruscan city walls and existing medieval structures.


Arriving in Piazza Danti, you'll notice on the buildings of the former Turreno cinema, some bas-reliefs depicting hands bearing ears of corn, recalling the ancient presence of grain warehouses on the site.

Pass in front of Palazzo Conestabile della Staffa (at number 28), continue along via del Sole and Piazza Michelotti arriving in Piazza Rossi Scotti, towards the highest part of the city. The Piazza continues to the left in via delle Prome: here you'll be able to see the spectacular scalinata delle Prome, one of the most immortalised and enchanting locations in the city. Stop here for a moment to enjoy a marvellous view over the Sant'Angelo and Sant'Antonio districts.

Continue along via dell'Aquila (the highest point in Perugia) and via Raffaello (in the church of San Severo in the small piazza, you will find the only fresco by Raphael in Perugia, representing the Holy Trinity. Continue down towards via Bontempi, turning right into via Mattioli; take via del Duca arriving in a small piazza of the same name. Here you'll find the Post Modernissimo cinema, which was recently restored and is the centre of numerous cultural initiatives. Continue along via della Viola (named after the flower or a once well-known local woman who has since been forgotten), which is overlooked by long and narrow blocks that are defined by dark and steep alleyways, some of which lead to the parallel via Imbriani below, others which are closed. On the left, you'll see via del Prospetto: passing along via San Giovanni Bosco, take the steps on via della Madonna and you'll arrive at the end of via Imbriani. Reaching the crossroads with via Alessi, where we wish to point out the awe-inspiring apse of the church, the walls of the San Fiorenzo monastery where there is a fourteenth century fresco depicting the Virgin and Child enthroned, located above the altar.

Go down via Bonaccia which takes you to porta Santa Margherita, and from here, head up via Baciadonne, the first street on your right; continue along via Imbriani as far as Via Abruzzo, going past via Orizzonte and walk as far as Piazza del Carmine, where you'll find the Chiesa di San Simone del Carmine.

At this point you have two options: take a detour to see via Enrico dal Pozzo, the ancient road towards the Tiber (and then head back towards Porta Pesa) or head directly towards Corso Bersaglieri, returning to the city centre passing along via dei Lanari, via della Torricella, Via del Roscetto, Via Sdrucciola, Via della Pazienza and Via Cartolari. Once there, take via Alessi and via del Forno – where you can see the beautiful stairway at the back of Palazzo Capocci – and you'll reach Piazza IV Novembre, your starting point, passing by via Fani.