Perugia, in its mountainous, medieval state, is a jewel of Italy’s center. There’s no question about it. Petite and steeped with medieval stone buildings and Etruscan arches, you would have to be crazy to not fall in love with its charm. You can walk yourself sore trekking from medieval buildings to Baci stores to seemingly never ending views of Italy’s Umbria region. I know I did!
To those of you about to embark on your study abroad programs here, I am entirely tooexcited for you! Having only spent two days in the historic center of Perugia, I compiled a list of what I believe to be some of this city’s hidden gems…
1. Medieval Alleyways & Tunnels Perugia is certainly a city that is wonderful to lose yourself in. Its stoned arched stairways and piazzas have undoubtedly aged beautifully since their medieval origins. Muted and shadowy in color and slower in pace, take the scenic route through the city and you’ll find yourself wishing could time travel back to the city’s medieval heyday.
Be sure to stroll underneath the Rocca Paolina, a massive 16th century fortress that was built on top of a wealthy neighborhood after losing the Italian Wars. Although it’s now used for escalators up and down the mountainside, make sure to simply wander through its dark, moody walking paths. Midway through the fortresses walls I found myself thinking, again… where did I put my time machine?!
2. Mind Blowing Views of Umbria’s Mountains and Valleys Need I say more? Wander aimlessly around long enough and you’ll be facing some of the most breathtaking views of Umbria. Stretches of fields and valleys and mountainsides peek through the ends of Perugia’s walking paths and BAM! Jaw. Dropped.
3. Cheap, Delicious & Adorable Eateries In comparison to other larger cities in Italy, Perugia’s restaurants remain affordable and, better yet, mouthwatering. We happened to pass by Alphaville Cafe and were shocked with it’s unique, vintage look and amazing cup of cappuccino.
Side note: Want to eat the best margherita pizza of your life? Go to Pizzeria Mediterranea and ask for buffalo mozzarella on that sucker. Prepare yourself… it’s amazing.
4. Mini Metro What other city has its own automated rail system? And, c’mon, it’s so cute!
5. Baci I was warned but in no way prepared for the tiny goodness packed inside Perugia’s famous chocolate concoction. Dark chocolate covered creamy hazelnut cream with more hazelnuts?! Yes. Coming to Perugia without having one is a mistake. A huge mistake.
For those of you who kindly referred me to your favorite spots here… thank you, thank you, thank you. Your suggestions certainly packed our two days full! If you’d like to share some more thoughts, tips or refer future study abroad students to any restaurants, shops or sights please comment below!