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What to see in Perugia

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A simple stroll in the city centre, immersed in the narrow and asymmetrical alleys weaving the intricate web of Perugia’s down-town, will be an instant delight. Take Corso Vannucci, starting from Fontana Maggiore in Piazza IV Novembre and go through Piazza della Repubblica up to Piazza Italia to enjoy a view of the Umbrian Valley from Giardini Carducci.

The maze of streets that unravel from Corso Vanucci echoes the original Etruscan network and develop in a magnificent intersection of small passages, bottlenecks in-between old palaces, majestic arches, and bright pastel colours shimmering with the light. The Medieval Aqueduct with its broad stairway is a breathtaking glimpse, enhanced by the numerous decorations and colourful buildings in the background.

Whether your decide to wander around or meticulously go through the various points of interest, you are going to be blessed by art and culture everywhere you go. Many are the Etruscan remains, from the Etruscan Well to the Etruscan Arch, located in the original city wall and restored during the Roman Period (by Emperor Octavius Augustus, thus later going by the name of Arch of Augustus).

In Piazza IV Novembre, besides the famous Fontana Maggiore, you can visit the San Lorenzo Cathedral and, right in front of it, Palazzo dei Priori visible from the entrance of Sala dei Notari. The Palace is home to the National Gallery of Umbria, or Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria, where you will be able to admire a plethora of Medieval and Renaissance masterpieces.

Right at the end of the main avenue, going towards Corso Cavour, you will find the marvellous St. Peter’s Basilica sitting in front of the gardens of Frontone. A must-see for any visitor. Coming downhill, before Piazza Italia, towards Piazza Partigiani, one can literally cross the Rocca Paolina, which can be visited and is still in pristine conditions, including many of the original spaces.

The numerous palaces erected by various aristocratic families between the XV and the XIX Century are visible – and often can be visited – from inside and outside the city walls. A special mention shall be made for the Palazzo Antinori-Gallenga Stuart, now housing the University for Foreigners of Perugia, located in Piazza Fortebraccio just outside the old city walls is a remarkable example of Baroque Style, as well as Palazzo della Penna or Palazzo Sorbello, respectively homes to the Civic Museum and Sorbello Museum.

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