ITALY, Sep. 2008

Photos © Ruud Leeuw

In September we drove down to Italy and visited some cities in this beautiful country.
After we had stayed a few days in Bologna, we continued to Perugia, driving through the beautiful provinces/regions of Emilia Romagna and Marken to Perugia.
Perugia is the capital city of the region of Umbria in central Italy, near the Tiber river, and the capital of the province of Perugia. Perugia is a notable artistic center of Italy.

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We arrived shortly before sunset and when we had checked in at the hotel this view from our room was on offer: moon over the town of Perugia.


Room with a view Initially I searched for a hotel in the historic district of Perugia, but I almost got stuck with my car driving through the narrow, winding streets.
When I had found my way out, we came to the Hotel Europa. Having made no prior arrangements I was told the hotel was fully booked but was offered a room on their bed & breakfast floor 'Dormus Minervae'; this we gladly accepted and found both the room and breakfast very pleasant indeed.

The hotel is perfectly situated because nearby automated escalators will lift visitors swiftly to the medieval streets of the historic center of Perugia.

The room offered a fine view over the green hills of the Umbrian countryside.
The Europa Hotel is a two-star hotel and offered an excellent breakfast in their B&B arrangement.


Since we had only the evening for our visit to Perugia, we quickly found our way into the historic center.
Nightfall at Perugia
Darkness over Perugia
Perugia was an Umbrian settlement but first appears in written history as Perusia, one of the twelve confederate cities of Etruria; it was first mentioned in Q. Fabius Pictor's account, utilized by Livy, of the expedition carried out against the Etruscan league by Fabius Maximus Rullianus in 310 or 309 BC.
In 1797, Perugia was conquered by French troops. On 04Feb1798, the Tiberina Republic was formed, with Perugia as capital and the French tricolour as flag. Tthe Tiberina Republic merged to the Roman Republic in 1799.
In 1832, 1838, 1854 and 1997 Perugia was visited by earthquakes.
Following the collapse of the Roman republic of 1848-49, when the Rocca was in part demolished, in May 1849 it was seized by the Austrians. In June 1859 the inhabitants rebelled against the temporal authority of the Pope and established a provisional government but the insurrection was bloodily defeated by Pius IX's troops.
In September 1860 the city was finally united, along with the rest of Umbria, to the Kingdom of Italy.
[Source and much more on WIKIPEDIA]


The evening temperature was warm and still, very pleasant for a stroll to the center of town.
The small winding roads and even smaller side streets offered many photo opportunities, the warm light of the streetlamps adding to the pleasant atmosphere.


We found ourselves quickly at the center of town, the 'Piazza IV Novembre'.

This is the artistic center of Perugia that features beautiful reliefs carved in the 13 century, a stunning gothic cathedral and the superb Italian medieval palace, the Palazzo Priori, which houses the National Art Gallery of Umbria.


While having dinner I looked into an open gate. The gate closed but a door was left open and we decided to have a look.
We came to a small courtyard with fascinating decorations. But I have to admit I don't know what building we entered: the National Gallery of Umbria? Maybe part of the 'Duomo'?


Perugia is also a town known to host foreign students.
The "University for Foreigners Perugia" is the oldest and Italian institution involved in teaching and research activities as well as in the diffusion of the Italian language and civilisation in all expressions.
Its story began in 1921 when a lawyer by the name of Astorre Lupattelli, who had dedicated much of his life to the project, set up the first courses in high culture in his home town. His eventual aim was to heighten people’s awareness of the central Italian region of Umbria - whose main town is Perugia - both throughout Italy and abroad, to describe its history, its institutions and its natural and artistic history.


Perugia is set in the Umbrian hills and wondering around in the maze of winding streets also sees you going up and down...
The city has spread out over the years, also due to the large number of people coming and going every year.

Look at that town going to sleep..!


Large numbers of Italian students come to study at the Universities here and due to the 'Universita per Stranieri' (University for Foreigners, allegedly set up by Mussolini to improve Italy's image to outsiders..) there are large numbers of foreign students as well.






ITALY 2008