The city of Perugia, located in the centre of Italy between Florence and Rome, is a well-preserved medieval city, full of art and culture. It has been founded by the Etruscans although it has had also important Roman influences.
The city core is Piazza IV Novembre which was the favorite location for meeting points in ancient times and the political centre during the Middle Ages. Today, the square maintains is former function. In the middle of the square is located The Great Fountain (La Fontana Maggiore) which is the symbol of the city. The fountain has been designed by Bevignate but was built by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano in the 13th century. In the north side of the square is located the Duomo, the early church dates back to the 900 but the building of the current Cathedral started in the 14th Century after Bevignate’s design. The Cathedral has a strong and dramatic Gothic influence whereas in its external steps you can sit and relax in one of the favorite place in town for tourists and students. The steps face the fountain, the main street of the old city Corso Vannucci, and the Palazzo dei Priori where is located the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria with pieces of art from the 13th century and rooms dedicated to the local painters Pinturiccio and Perugino. In the same building you can also visit Collegio del Cambio, Collegio della Mercanzia and Sala dei Notari.
In the centre it is also located the Pozzo Etrusco (Etruscan Well) the ancient Etruscan water stock. A short distance away you will reach Porta Sole the highest spot of the city with a great panorama of the old walls and of the medieval gate of Porta sant’Angelo. Nearby the gate it is also located the Roman Tempio di Sant’Angelo, nice and singular round church.
Taking Porta Sole’s steps you can reach the Arco Etrusco (Etruscan Arch) although only the lower part is Etruscan, the central is Roman with the inscription Augusta Perusia, and the upper is from Renaissance.
At the end of Corso Vannucci in the Piazza Italia you can reach the entrance of the Rocca Paolina a fort built as an order of Pope Paul III in the 16th century. The fort has been destroyed during the Italian unification but has been brought to light again at the beginning of the 20th century and reopened to the public in 1965 as an underground city. Nowadays it is often used as a location for cultural initiatives and events. Over the Rocca Paolina you have the Giardini Carducci where you can sit and enjoy the view. From the gardens you will see the Campanile of the Church of San Pietro, the interior is a great combination of gilded and marble decoration. The church is located in the suggestive neighborhood of Borgo XX Giugno where you can also visit the Medieval Gardens and the Basilica di San Domenico.
Lastly, you can’t miss the most particular street of Perugia, the former Aqueduct which is now a pedestrian street with a lovely view.