This town in the hills has managed to keep most of its architectural past well preserved and combined it beautifully with contemporary life. Many celebrations, musical performances and art exhibitions take place in Perugia making it an especially lively place. There are even some restaurants and hotels built before the year 999. The Umbri peopled the area, however it was the Etruscans before them who founded the town. It was later taken by the Romans in the 4th century and renamed Perusia. In the medieval times Perugia experienced the struggles between the Baglionis and the Odis. In the 6th century it became part of the papal states and remained as such for 300 years. Art has played a key role in the development of Perugia. Bernardino Pinturicchio and Il Perugino lived here in the 15th century. At present the University of Perugia, the University for Internationals and other universities are in charge of encouraging this cultural tradition to go on. Corso Vanucci, in honour of Il Perugino, is the main street in old Perugia. It starts at the fortress Rocca Paolina, goes through Piazza Italia and goes on as far as the centre of Perugia in the Piazza IV Novembre with its Fontana Maggiore and cathedral. Within 1km of this central square you´ll find all the best sights of the town. City buses conveniently come and go from here, whereas intercity buses terminate at Piazza Partigiani. From then onwards, for example if you want to reach Piazza Italia situated up the hill, there are elevators and staircases which can be rather difficult with luggage.
Where to Eat and Drink
As Perugia is a tourist and university city, there are a huge variety of restaurants to choose from. As spring approaches restaurants with outdoor areas open.
Il Cedro offers take away food in generous portions and at inexpensive prices. Shawermas and kebabs are excellent there.
Tuttotesto fills with students and teachers enjoying their sweet crepes, salads and Umbrian sandwiches.
Ristorante il Bacio is an a la carte restaurant and pizza parlour with an outdoor café
Pizzeria Mediterranea is a pizza parlour with a huge variety of different toppings to choose from. You can add the superb buffalo milk mozzarella to any pizza you like.
Ristorante dal Mi’Cocco does not have an a la carte menu but a fixed menu changing daily.
Il Segreto di Pulcinella serves Neapolitan pizza, salads and pasta.
Ristorante Nana is an unassuming family-run restaurant. A few tables, a small and an inexpensive wine list make it a friendly and fun place for dinner.
Enone is a wine bar-cum-restaurant-cum-club serving sushi and other non-traditional dishes, sometimes accompanied by live concerts.
Il Cufo on Via della Viola serves dishes prepared with local seasonal products.
Ristorante Sole on Via della Rupe has exotic and traditional dishes. It´s homemade pasta and duck carpaccio with truffles are fabulous, as is the stunning view from the dining room.
Wine Bartolo Hosteria on Via Bartolo is an idyllic little space with just a few tables and a charming atmosphere with shelves and shelves of wine bottles. Arguably the best dishis the classic Chianina beef with Sangiovese or for something lighter the carpaccio with lemon over radicchio.
Corso Vanucci is restaurant centre:
Sandri has been running for 300 years. It has earned fame for its chocolate cakes, candied fruit, espresso and sweet pastries. Everything you take away is elegantly wrapped in red paper and adorned with a fine ribbon so make perfect gifts.
Caffe Morlacchi serves tea and hot chocolate in the daytime and cocktails at night time.
Caffè di Perugia on Via Mazzini has a typical menu of pasta, meat dishes and excellent desserts. It is expensive but deservedly so. Meals are served in the outdoor area or inside dining room.
Bar Centrale on Piazza IV Novembre also features tables on the pavement so you can watch the world go by while savouring a hearty sandwich.
(Super)Markets and groceries
Coop, which is on Piazza Matteotti, sells staples, fruit and vegetables and fresh pasta and cheese at the counter.
The Covered Market is below the Coop. It offers fresh produce, bread, cheese and meat.
The Coop on Piazza Vittorio Veneto is an enormous supermarket with a car park. Bangladeshi Alimentary sells all the most necessarygroceries.
Lunabar has a fun unique atmosphere which combines frescoed walls, a grey and onyx bar and a futuristic style. There is a smoking room and an excellent aperitivo menu.
Cinastik is a fashionable bar with good music and original drinks.
Bottega del Vino is a wine bar with live jazz and a chilled out mood. Wine experts working as wine stewards will guide you in tasting and purchasing.
La Terraza on Piazza Matteotti combines perfect views of the hilly landscape and a good aperitivo served on the terrace.
How to Get to/ from
BY BUS: leaving from Piazza Partigiani (reached by the elevators from Piazza Italia). To/from Florence (duration: 2 ½ hrs , services: 1 a day). Umbrian northern roads are serviced by APM Perugia and the southern routes by SSIT or ATC Terni. To Deruta (duration: 5 minutes, services: 9 a day), to Torgiano (duration: 5 minutes, services: 9 a day), to Assisi (duration: 50 minutes, services: 9 a day), to Todi (duration:1 1/4 hours, services:7 a day), to Gubbio (duration: 1 1/4 hours, services: 10 a day), to Gualdo Tadino (duration: 1 hr 20, services: 5 a day), Lake Trasimeno (duration: between 50 minutes and 1 hr10, services: 6-10 a day). ATC Terni runs to Narni or Amelia. There is a booklet called Viva Perugia which provides details of trains, buses and timetables. It can be obtained in the tourist office, hotels and some restaurants. From Rome’s airport there is a direct bus to Perugia (duration: about 3 ¾ hours, services: 4 on weekdays, 2 on Sundays). City buses leave from the railway station to Piazza Italia. Tickets must be validated on board and can be purchased on board, at the green kiosks at the railway station or at tobacconists anywhere in Perugia. There is a ticket comprising of 10 journeys for better value.
BY CAR: from Rome driving along the A1, take the Orte exit. The way to Terni is signposted. As you reach Terni, drive along the SS3bis and then the E45 to Perugia. If you are coming from the north, go along the A1, take the Valdichiana exit and then turn onto the SS75 to Perugia. At the airport you can rent a car with Europcar or at the railway station with any of the car rentals: Avis, Hertz or Maggiore. You can rent a scooter and experience Perugia as the Perugians do. Perugia’s centre is reserved for cars, residents and commercial purposes. There are six paid car parks. On Piazza Cupa you will find a free car park. The elevators operate from the car parks to the centre but they do not operate in the small hours. There is an unlimited parking ticket which can be bought at the ticket office of each car park.
BY PLANE: the airport is 13 km from Perugia. Among the flights available are three
daily flights to Milan, or three flights a week to London. To go to the
airport you can call a taxi or take the bus that is coordinated with the flights’ arrivals and departures. Piazza Italia is the
departure point for buses going to the airport which set off 1 hour 10
minutes before the arrival time.
BY TAXI: during the summer they operate all day long; however the rest of the year you´ll be hard pressed to find one very late at night or in the early hours.
BY TRAIN: the main railway station is some kilometres outside the city. There are buses connecting the station and Perugia centre. As well as the ticket office there are automated machines operated by credit cards or cash to purchase tickets. Other railway stations are also in the outskirts. For most journeys you will have to change at Foligno or Terontola. To Rome (duration :2 ¼ to 3 hours), to Florence (duration: 2 hours), to Arezzo (duration:1 hr 10, services: every 2 hours), to Gubbio (duration: 1 ½ hours, services: 7 a day), to Spello (duration:30 minutes, services: every hour), to Orvieto (duration: 1 ¼ hours, services: every other hour). For many interesting Umbrian spots the Ferrovia Central Umbra is a must, and also runs to Rome. It is important to note that tickets have to be validated on board or face a fine. To Fratta Todino (duration: 40 minutes, services: 18 a day), to Todi (duration: 50 minutes, services: 18 a day), to Terni (duration: 1 ½ hours, services: 17 a day), to Umbertide (duration: 45 minutes, services: 19 a day), to Città de Castello (duration: 1hr10, services: 16 a day).