Perugia visits - Travels in Tuscany


Perugia, the great "Guelph strong-hold" is situated in the heart of the region, with its five historical districts closed-in by its Etruscan walls. These enormous bastions formed by cyclopic square masses, were constructed 22 centuries ago and are still visible for a good length.
When the city of Rome was little more that an encampment of huts, one could already enter the Etruscan Perugia through one of its seven portals, among which one was particularly imposing, the Porta Pulchra or of Augustus. By entering the city via Porta San Pietro, whose exterior was remodelled by Agostino di Duccio in 1475, you'll get to the basilica of St. Dominic, while the National Archaeological Museum of Umbria is to be found in the adjacent cloisters and convent.
Continuing along, you'll reach the Piazza del Sopramuro, where the 15th century Palace of the Old University and the adjacent Palace of the People's Captain look down on the square. Further on, after a short climb, you'll find yourself in one of Italy's most important squares, where you'll see in the center the Priors’ Palace, the Cathedral and the 13th century fountain the Major Fountain. These monuments render the Piazza Grande of Perugia (now called Piazza IV Novembre) a superb architectural complex. At the extreme end of Corso Vannucci you'll find the famous panoramic gardens built on the foundations of the Rocca Paolina, a strong-hold built by Pope Paul III in 1540. These foundations contain an entire quarter of the old Perugia: a dead city, a sort of Medieval Pompei, which has been brought to light again and its visit it’s definitely a fascinating experience. The stairways in Perugia are usually quite steep, both the oldest and the most recent ones. Leaving from the Augustus Arc, we get to the upper part of Perugia, where it used to be the castle of Porta Sole, erected in the XIV century by Gattapone, and destroyed later for willing of the whole town people. Worth a visit it’s also the architectural complex of St. Francesco, with the Oratory of St. Bernardino a masterpiece of sculpture of the Renaissance period realized by Agostino di Duccio.
Among the most important events taking place in the city we should absolutely mention the musical festival Umbria Jazz and the gastronomic festival Euro Chocolate.

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