Perugia Things to Do
Attractions include a summer jazz festival, two universities of great renown, museums, historic artifacts, medieval streets, and Italy's best chocolate.
monuments and museums
the piazza IV novembre
The magnificent, time-worn Piazza IV Novembre, once the setting for the "War of the Stones" and countless riots and street battles, remains the heart and soul of Perugia.
Dominated by the Fontana Maggiore, a 13th-century fountain by Nicola and Giovanni Pissano, its entrance is flanked by a statue of Pope Julius II (1555) and a pulpit built for Siena's San Bernardino (1425). Its Cappella del Santo Anello contains the Virgin's "wedding ring", a piece of agate said to change color according to the character of the person wearing it. The third pillar in the south nave holds a Renaissance painting of the Madonna delle Grazie by Gian Nicola di Paolo. The figure is credited with miraculous powers, and mothers bring newly baptized children to kneel before it.
the old streets around the cathedral
Walk around the back of Perugia's cathedral, and you'll find yourself transported back to the Middle Ages. There you will see a cityscape of dark, grim buildings and overhanging arches, some incorporating bits of Gothic palaces and Etruscan walls. They are as old as they look!
the corso vannucci
As complement to the Piazza IV Novembre, Perugia has a spectacular main street. Closed to traffic, it's the scene every evening of central Italy's liveliest passeggiata.
the museo archeologico nazionale dell'umbria
Housed in the cloisters of San Domenico, this museum exhibits prehistoric, Etruscan, and Roman artifacts.
the galleria nazionale dell'umbria
Umbria's greatest collection of paintings is displayed here on the third floor of the palace. Most of the works are 13th- to 18th-century paintings by local artists, but the highlights are altarpieces by Piero della Francesca and Fra Angelico.
the umbria jazz festival, july
This excellent festival has drawn such luminaries as Wynton Marsalis and the late Stan Getz to Perugia.
the teatro in piazza festival, july and august
Performances take place in the city's cloisters and squares.
the teatro e' la notte, summer
This series of music, cinema, and dance is performed throughout the summer.
the sagra musicale umbra, september
Local churches are filled with religious and classical music.
the marcia della pace, october
Since 1963, thousands of Italians have walked the 10km (6.2 miles) from Perugia to Assisi in the name of peace. In 2001, over 250,000 came, breaking all records.
the fiera dei morti, november
This "fair of the dead" is the oldest surviving fair in Central Italy. You will find many interesting hand-crafted goods and sweets available.
il contrappunto, via scortici
Near the University for Foreigners and Piazza Grimana, music, usually live from jazz to traditional turkish and tango, is performed.
the eurochocolate festival, october
This delicious festival pays homage to the "food of gods".