14 Places worth visiting in Perugia
Surrounded by Etruscan walls, which have been mostly preserved, Perugia rises on a ridge of hills and is the capital of the Italian Region Umbria. Perugia is a fantastic base to explore the entire region, but the city itself offers a large number of places and spots worth visiting for their beauty, uniqueness, history, and culture. Let’s find out the 14 best places to visit in Perugia.
#1 Rocca Paolina
Rocca Paolina is the most unique place to see in Perugia. It’s a tangle of passages that run under the city streets and squares, buried deep inside the hills. These passages are still used today by tourists and locals to reach the center of the town, and its niches host small shops or exhibitions. The attraction is quite unique and completely free.
#2 Fontana Maggiore
One of the main reasons why tourists may want to reach the center of the city through the Rocca Paolina is to witness the beauty of the Fontana Maggiore, located in the center of Perugia’s main square, Piazza IV Novembre. The fountain is one of the most beautiful examples of 13th-century art and architecture with its two multi-sided basins and a trio of bronze nymphs supporting the urn from which water flows.
#3 San Lorenzo
Just behind Fontana Maggiore, the 15th century gothic San Lorenzo church stands. Both the exterior facade and the insides of the cathedral are wonderful and breathtaking examples of 15th-century Gothic art. Lots of masterpieces from various artists are admirable inside the church: the Chapel of San Bernardino is one example, and the Trinity, a fresco by Raphael dated 1505.
#4 National Gallery of Umbria
The attractions we’ve seen so far are 100% free, but for a very small price you can purchase a ticket for visiting the National Gallery of Umbria. Located on the third floor of the majestic Palazzo dei Priori, it contains paintings by Perugino, Pinturicchio, Benedetto Bonfigli, Bartolomeo Caporali, and more.
#5 San Pietro
The church of San Pietro is located just outside the homonymous city wall gate. It’s an early Christian structure rebuilt in the 12th century whose gothic architecture and art will leave you breathless. The Gothic wooden choir.stalls are considered among Italy’s finest, the frescoes and paintings that decorate the church and sacristy were made by several artists among which there were Raphael, Perugino, Pinturicchio, and Parmigianino.
#6 Arco d’Augusto
The Arco d’Augusto is one of the seven gates that allowed access to the city through the Etruscan walls that extended for almost 3 kilometers. The arch and the two trapezoidal towers it connects is a wonderful example of ancient architecture. Furthermore, by visiting Arco d’Augusto you also have the chance of admiring the Renaissance loggia at the top of one of the towers, and the fountain below it that was completed in 1621.
Near the northern gate of Porta Sant’Angelo, there’s the Borgo Sant’Arcangelo neighborhood with its rounded Sant’Arcangelo church. It’s actually a Paleo-Christina temple. Reused from an older pagan temple. The church is decorated with some interesting early Christian symbols, including a pentagram just on the entrance.
#8 Museo Archeologico Nazionale dell’Umbria
The Museo Archeologico Nazionale dell’Umbria isn’t just worth visiting because of the antiquities it contains. It is also located in a former Dominican monastery with its beautiful and typical porch and inner courtyard. The collection includes funerary urns, Etruscan and Roman bronzes, jewelry, and more dating as far as the 16th century BC.
#9 Oratorio di San Bernardino
Colored marble, limestone, and terra-cotta make the magnificent facade of the Oratorio di San Bernardino, built between 1457 and 1461 by Agostino di Duccio.
#10 Giardini Carducci
When you’re tired of history and amazing architecture, jump by Giardini Carducci and take a look at the entire city lying below. The panorama is breathtaking. There’s also a small park to have some rest, and a map that helps you identify the nearby towns you can spot from up there.
#11 Via dell’Acquedotto
If you want to have a glance of another breathtaking panorama, don’t miss to swing by Via dell’Acquedotto. It’s a street just known for the view it offers over another part of the city and the surrounding hills and towns.
#12 Corso Vannucci
Corso Vannucci is probably the most known and important road in Perugia. All major public offices are there, but also the best shops.
#13 Città della Domenica
f you are visiting the city with children, you may want to swing by Città della Domenica. Nature, puppies, a reptile house, and a lot of special attractions specifically aimed at children are accessible for a very small price.
#14 Ipogeo dei Volumni
We’ve begun with an underground attraction and we want to conclude with another one: Ipogeo dei VOlumni is an underground di net of tombs dating from the second century BC. Nine chambers are grouped around a central atrium: these tombs were built just like the plan of houses of their period.