So far, in this blog, I have written about places, which I know very well, with most of them visited at least a few times. This post deviates from this pattern, because we only visited Perugia once. Writing about this undiscovered town has awakened my “hunger” to revisit and explore it further. I hope I will be able to pass it on you.
This adventure was during May’s long weekend.
Tip: Whist there is a direct flight from London to Perugia, do not expect transport from Perugia airport to town! In our case it wasn’t. Fortunately, we were not alone and together with another traveller, we took a taxi to the train station.
Tip: The train station is not in the town centre! It is quite a distance from it, and up the hill! It was worth the walk though.
Do you remember the post “Hidden German Gem”? If not, you can find it here. Suffice to say, that whilst steps mentioned in the “Hidden German Gem” can be challenging, they are nothing like what you will find in Perugia. Perugia takes it to whole new level: difficult. That is probably why you will find practically no tourists away from the town centre.
Having said that, if for any reason, you cannot walk that many steps, that it absolutely OK, there is always a way around it. How about renting a scooter? (must be Vespa!) It is small, practical, fun to ride, and can get you almost everywhere! If you are more of adventurous type, a small car would also do, but you better know how to drive in the narrow streets!
Tip: Perugia is a total maze. Without a map or GPS, you will most likely struggle to find your way and will end up going up and down the stairs all the time!
Both the countless steps, and the maze of footpaths, are guarding the most impressive feature of Perugia’s charm. The architectural arches. They are absolutely exquisite, and many of them can only be found quite “a few” steps (up and down) away from the very centre.
My memories of Perugia bring a sense of being obscure and undiscovered. Away from the very centre, it looked as if it was a ghost town, as it is very, very quiet. It is quite unusual for a town of this size, especially as it is the capital of the Umbria region. At the same time, some “ordinary” buildings there were more impressive than the other “main” attractions in the other places I’ve been. Actually, the region of Umbria is a little like that. It is like Toscana, located on the hills but without the well-established tourist infrastructure. More like a country-side Tuscany.
The very centre of the historic part of the town can get ridiculously crowded though. Especially during one of the town festivals. The Umbria Jazz Festival, held there since 1973 (July), and the “Eurochocolate” festival (October) are two of them. I plan to visit both festivals in the very near future – even in spite of the horrendous crowds! When we visited, it was relatively quiet.
Writing this post has made me realise how important the surrounding architecture is to me. At the same time, it still remains a mystery as to just how strongly surroundings can influence a person’s mood.
Tip: It is OK not to have a solid plan for sightseeing. There is also nothing wrong with deciding “I do not have to see this or that”. Sometimes, just being in a beautiful place is all you need.
Perugia is situated on a hill, which is typical for an Italian town. You will find here some magnificent views of Umbria all around. There are many little villages near Umbria. As you are reading this post, we are exploring these beautiful little villages now! And yes, of course, I will write about them too later!
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