Perugia travel guide

Perugia is the capital of both the province of the same name and the region of Umbria. The historical centre of the city is situated on a hill that is almost 500 meters tall at the top (the Porta Sole). It is a young, vibrant city, mainly due to the two universities, the smaller one, the Università per Stranieri, aiming to teach foreign students about Italian language and culture.

Perugia travel guide

Useful information

Tourist office and town hall Perugia

Town hall: Palazzo dei Priori – Corso Vannucci, 19 – Perugia. Province: Perugia. Region: Umbria. Prefix: 075. Postal code: From 06121 to 06135. The city has about 170 thousand inhabitants, of which almost a quarter study at one of the two universities. There are two tourist offices in Perugia. The first one is called IAT Loggia dei Lanari and is located in Piazza Matteotti, 18. The second one is in the Metropolis shopping centre, Stazione Minimetrò Piazzale Umbria Jazz, Pian di Massiano – Perugia (by car take the exit Raccordo autostradale Madonna Alta).

Tourist attractions

Piazza Quattro Novembre

Fontana Maggiore Perugia
Fontana Maggiore

The Piazza IV Novembre is the central square of the city. In and around the square are some of the most famous sights to see in Perugia. These include the Fontana Maggiore, the Cathedral and the Palazzo dei Priori.

Corso Vannucci

Corso Vannucci, Perugia travel guide
Corso Vanucci is the main street of Perugia.

Corso Vannucci is the most important and famous street. It connects Piazza Italia (the central bus square) and the Carducci Gardens with Piazza IV Novembre and the San Lorenzo Cathedral. The shopping street is named after the painter Perugino.

Views

Santa Giuliana Church Perugia
Santa Giuliana Church

Since the historical center of Perugia is located at the top of a hill, and this hill is surrounded by other hills with lush woods, the views cannot be but stunning. Often the panoramic views include medieval churches, such as the Santa Giuliana Church. The Via del Cane, on the north side of the historic center, is one of the best spots to enjoy views of the surrounding countryside.

Rocca Paolina

Escalators in the Rocca Paolina.
Escalators inside the former castle.

The Rocca Paolina is what is left of the ancient castle of Perugia. This was mostly demolished, to make way for one of the city’s scale mobile and for a cultural center. Some of the space is taken up by shops as well.

Piazza Italia

Piazza Italia

The Piazza Italia, lined by impressive government buildings, is located at the other end of the Corso Vannucci. It is the central bus square of the city and it is here that the buses from the central station have their terminus. The square contains a garden with a statue of a former king and two fountains.

Arches

One of the main characteristics of the alleys in the center of Perugia is the presence of multiple arches. The Via Maestà delle Volte which runs downhill, from Piazza IV Novembre towards Piazza Cavallotti is one example. The Via Volte della Pace, a side street of the Via Bontempi, is another. The Via Ulisse Rocchi, which connects the Cathedral and the University, has several.

Perugia city walls

Arch of Augustus Perugia
Etruscan Arch

The most famous one, however, is the so-called Arch of Augustus, which is part of the first, Etruscan, wall around the city. During the Middle Ages, a second wall was constructed. Several gates in both of these walls are still in existence. The main university building (former monastery of the Chiesa degli Oliveti) is right outside this gate.

Medieval aqueduct

Medieval aqueduct Perugia
The medieval aqueduct has been repurposed as a walkway through the center.

The medieval aqueduct that used to supply the city center with water has long ago stopped being used for its original purpose. This does not mean that it is not being used at all anymore. Part of the aqueduct has been repurposed and is now a picturesque walking path between the center and the Porta d’Angelo neighborhood.

Public transport to Perugia

The nearest airport is located in the district of Sant’Egidio, and is officially called Aeroporto Internazionale dell’Umbria-Perugia San Francesco d’Assisi. There is a regular bus service to and from this airport. The code of this airport is PEG.

The city has a large number of small train stations. The most important ones are the central station Fontivegge and Sant’Anna.

Fontivegge is located outside the historical center and one has to take a bus or the so-called Minimetro to the center. The direct, but not very frequent, trains from Rome stop here. From Pontivegge there are train connections to Assisi, Lake Trasimeno and Florence.

Sant’Anna is located in the centre and provides connections to nearby small towns. (Note that Sant’Anna is closed at the moment).

Flixbus has a connection from Roma Tiburtina to Piazzale Umbria Jazz in Perugia.

Public transport inside the city

There are direct buses from the Pontivegge station to the main bus square (Piazza Italia) and elsewhere in the city. There are also (free) escalators from various spots at the bottom of the hill to the historical center.

Festivals

The most famous festival taking place in Perugia is the Umbria Jazz Festival. It is held every year in the month of July and attracts many famous names in the field of jazz and blues.

Curiosities

Five times as many drug addicts die from an overdose in Perugia as in the rest of Italy.

One of the city’s main claims to fame is its chocolate.

Some years ago the city was in the news because of a grizzly murder on an English student.

Perugia (Provincie Perugia, regio Umbrië)

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