Luxury Hotel PerugiaFirst an Etruscan and then a Roman city (Augustus called it “Augusta Perusia” during his reign), Perugia expanded greatly during the Middle Ages, becoming one of the most important cities in Italy by the 12th Century. Run by various lords over the years, in 1524 Perugia came under the control of the Catholic Church, with which there has been friction ever since.
The symbols of this political situation are visible today in the architecture and urban planning of the city center in Piazza IV Novembre with its majestic Palazzo dei Priori and the monumental Cathedral of St. Lawrence. On the ground floor of the Palazzo dei Priori, built between 1293 and 1443, is located the Collegio del Cambio and inside it is the beautiful Sala delle Udienze, completely covered in frescoes by Pietro Perugino and his School, painted between 1498 and 1507. The Collegio della Mercanzia is also on the ground floor, which was the seat of the medieval corporation of the same name. On the upper floors is located the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria, an important museum containing the largest collection of works by Umbrian and central Italian artists from the 13th to the 19th Centuries.
Important remnants of Perugia’s Etruscan origins are the monuments situated in the city center such as the Arco Etrusco and the Pozzo Etrusco. Leaving the city walls, the Ipogeo dei Volumni is an Etruscan tomb which belonged to the ancient Volumnia people and which is part of the greater Necropolis of the Palazzone. To get the most out of your visit to Perugia, we recommend following the five classical itineraries, which take their name from the neighborhoods which have existed since the 11th century.
The itineraries follow one another in counterclockwise fashion from the north to the south of the city.
PORTA SOLE ITINERARY
This neighborhood’s symbol is the sun because of its exposure to the east, and its color is white. Its patron saint is St. Romuald. The regal road to the Tiber began here and extended to Via Flaminia.
PORTA SANT’ANGELO ITINERARY
The neighborhood gets its name from the ancient temple of St. Michael Archangel, and its coat of arms bears twowings and a sword. Its color is red like the flaming sword of the warrior angel. From the gate, facing north, began the regal road to Gubbio.
PORTA SANTA SUSANNA ITINERARY
This neighborhood’s name comes from its patron saint, St. Susannah, who appears also as a symbol together with a bear and chain. Its color is light blue, reminiscent of the waters of Lake Trasimeno. The Trasimeno can be reached traveling westwards from this gate in the direction of Cortona.
PORTA EBURNEA ITINERARY
This neighborhood takes as its symbol a tower on top of a harnessed elephant, and its name is related to ivory. Its color is green, perhaps in reference to the gardens which lined its slope.
PORTA SAN PIETRO ITINERARY
This neighborhood, called the “borgo bello”, is rich in art and vegetation. It faces southeast and takes its name from its patron saint. St. Peter is also the symbol of the neighborhood, together with his crossed keys, having taken the place of the lion and the stone over the course of time. This last was a symbol of the litomachia, or stone wars, which took place in the Campo di Battaglia (Via XIV Settembre). Its color is yellow, the color of the grain which came into the city through this gate.
During the year Perugia offers a rich and interesting calendar of events beginning with painting and photography exhibits, concerts (Umbria Jazz, Sagra Musicale Umbra), food and wine events (Eurochocolate) and various exhibitions (Perugia Flowershow, Umbrialibri, etc.) A stop you mustn’t miss during your trip to Perugia is a visit to the Museo della Casa del Cioccolato Perugina (Perugina Chocolate Museum). There, apart from learning the history of this renowned local company, you’ll be able to enter the factory to see how it works and taste its freshlymade sweets.