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Perugia - a hilltop city.

Fontana Maggiore in Piazza IV Novembre

The University for Foreigners

Every year, jazz musicians and jazz fans from the world over enjoy the Umbria Jazz festival.  Check it out!


For more on Italian churches visit Bill Thayer's website
The Churches of Italy
Churches of Perugia


Welcome to Perugia
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population: 148,575 (2001)
Official website:

Wikipedia: Perugia
Map: MapQuest

If you travel to Italy you must visit Umbria, and if you visit Umbria you must visit the City of Perugia, one of the largest medieval cities in Italy and one of its most contemporary and fashionable too.

Perugia, with a population of about 140,000 sits on a 500 meter (that's about 1600 feet) high hill overlooking a vast expanse of rolling and very beautiful Umbrian countryside, including the Val d'Umbria on its east side.

The original inhabitants were an Italic tribe, the Umbrians, but they were ultimately displaced by the Etruscans, who in turn were subjugated by the Romans.  After the fall of the Roman Empire, Perugia became a city state ruled over by a succession of brutal overlords, ultimately taking its place amongst the string of papal states strung-out from Rome on the west coast to Ancona on the west coast.  Eventually the city fell under Austrian control, and later French control under Napoleon.  Umbria, and therefore Perugia, became part of the modern country of Italy during the unification which was completed in 1870.

Modern day Perugia is beguiling because it has all the conveniences and attractions of a modern city, from high-end fashion boutiques to hot night clubs.  It also has a couple of renowned universities, including the University of Perugia which has been educating students since the 14th century, and the University for Foreigners, which attracts students from all over the world who are anxious to deepen their Italian language skills.

Architecture buffs will feast their eyes upon an array of mind-boggling architecture spanning several centuries.  Those of a more spiritual or religious nature will enjoy the cool and calm sanctuaries of Perugia's cathedrals and churches.  Art aficionados will encounter works by Perugino (teacher of Raphael) and other important medieval and renaissance artists in the Galleria Nazionale, and various other public buildings. 

And then there is the Corso Vannucci that runs from the Piazza d'Italia to the Piazza IV Novembre, which everyone will enjoy,  particularly at night when the gorgeous people of Perugia enjoy the nightly passeggiate, one of those Italian customs that a traveler finds easy to adopt.  It is the stroll of strolls - for families, lovers, friends, and even the lost and lonely.  No one will mind if as you walk, you lick a three-flavored gelato cone.  It's just the right thing to do.

So, Perugia!  There are a few very good, and many good hotels if you wish to stay awhile.  And there is plenty of good food, from pizza and pamnini to elaborate multi-course meals served in exquisite restaurants.  Perugia is a place for all tastes and pocketbooks.

Lastly, Perugia is a great base from which to do day trips to other Umbrian towns and cities.  Assisi and Spello are a few kilometers away, but Orvieto, Gubbio, Bevagna, Montefalco and dozens of other places are an easy drive, bus or train journey.

By Arianna Andrews, November 8, 2004

Region of Umbria



Spello - 32 km;
Assisi -  28 km;
Foligno - 41 km;
Cortona - 53 km;
Spoleto - 65 km;
Gubbio - 54 km;
Arezzo - 100 km;
Siena - 108 km;
Florence - 155 km;
Rome - 175 km;



Hotel Ville e Perusia
Hotel Quattrotorri
Il Poggio del Sole
Le Torre di Bagnara Country Estate

Other places to stay

Umbria Tours


Jazz Music Store
Via Ritoria 5,7, Perugia

Medieval garden
at Chiesa San Pietro

Perugia is a difficult city to enter and exit by car.  As you come along the major highways, you will see Perugia exit signs.  Look for those with a bullseye - indicating the direction to the "Centro" or "Center " and follow them as best you can.  If its your first (second, third or fourth) time in the City, take it easy.  Go slow and just ignore the impatient local drivers who know their way around and don't know why you don't.

We recommend you find the train station, and park close by.  In front of the station you will find a bus loop where you can catch one of several buses that will take you to the very heart of Perugia - the Piazza d'Italia.


If you are traveling on the cheap, there are three hostels.  If you can get a room at the hostel in the city center, take it.

Hostel "International Welcome Center of the Youth " Via Bontempi, 13 06122 - Perugia (Perugia) Tel. +39 0755722880 Fax +39 075573449

Other hostels