"Perugia" Italy Things to Do Tip by Willettsworld

Italy Things to Do: 1,470 reviews and 2,257 photos

  Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
by Willettsworld
  • Cattedrale di San Lorenzo - Italy
      Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
    by Willettsworld
  • Fontana Maggiore - Italy
      Fontana Maggiore
    by Willettsworld
  • Palazzo dei Priori on Piazza IV Novembre - Italy
      Palazzo dei Priori on Piazza IV Novembre
    by Willettsworld
  • Oratorio di San Bernardino - Italy
      Oratorio di San Bernardino
    by Willettsworld
  • Corso Vannucci - Italy
      Corso Vannucci
    by Willettsworld

Perugia is an ancient Etruscan settlement (6th - 1st century BC) that surrendered under the Emperor Octavian in 40 BC. At the end of Roman domination, it suffered barbarian invasion, whose massacres and looting exhausted the population. Never resigned to occupation, after many bitter struggles, in the 12th century it became a free Commune under popular rule. During the 13th and 14th centuries it asserted itself as a much feared and mighty power, subduing nearby towns and villages and forming alliances with the church and neighbouring states. In the age of the Seignories the city was ravaged by particularly bloody cival strife which weakened the local governement until, after a heroically-resisted siege, it came under the sway of the Papal State in 1540, whose domination was to last more than three centuries. On September 14th 1860, the city and the whole of Umbria became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

Perugia's old centre hinges around the pedestrianised Corso Vannucci (you don't find many pedestrianised streets in Italy), named after the local painter Pietro Vannucci. At it's northern end is Piazza IV Novembre, one of the best medieval squares in Italy, dominated by the Fontana Maggiore, a 13th century fountain designed by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano. Behind it lies the 15th century Duomo. The other main building on the square is the city hall, Palazzo dei Priori, which contains the Collegio del Cambio, Perugia's former money exchange where it's walls are covered with superlative frescoes (1498-1500) by Perugino.

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  • Written Sep 24, 2005
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