Perugia; Towers, Thunder and Terrific tables of Food

Departing Florence was such sweet sorrow, but the call of adventure waits for no man.

We travelled by train to Perugia, the main city in the Umbrian Hills above Rome. Other cities present in this area include Orvieto, Assisi, Spoleto, Trevi and Foligno. I had spent a number of hours on Trip advisor while planning this trip, (in case you hadn’t already noticed), and had found an apartment for rent in an old tower 7km from the historic centre of Perugia. To some it may have seemed a little crazy to book an apartment so far out in the countryside, but I knew this was going to work out.

Our host Francesco, provides a shuttle service to and from Perugia for his guests. We met our wonderful host at the Perugia train station, where we quickly established that he spoke a little English, fluent Italian and fluent French. I of course have the opposite problem, speaking fluent English, conversational French and broken Italian. But somehow over the next three days, with a little help from our intermediary Paul (assistant at the Bed and Breakfast, and English/Italian speaker), our broken Itengsch, seemed to get us along quite well.

The Lounge
The Lounge
Our Bedroom
Our Bedroom

As we drove through the winding hills up to the tower, the amazing greenness of Umbria strikes you. Everywhere you look is a different shade, that all culminate together to create a blanket like coating over the countryside. When we arrived at the tower, Francesco explained that it had once been used as a watch tower in medieval times, when Assisi (a nearby town) and Perugia were at war with one another. Now converted into four apartments, the tower serves as a beautiful viewpoint over both Assisi and Perugia. We stayed in Sepeverde (Slytherin), the apartments are named after the Gryffindor houses, and as you can see from the pictures it was stunning!

Craig’s craft beer and the view from our apartment
The view from our apartment

The weather was not agreeable though and in Francesco’s words “incroyable”, unbelievable and just plain weird. Normally, May is a very pleasant month in Perugia, temperatures average around 20 degrees and there is sun. But this May was different during our stay we had rain, rain and more rain as well as spectacular thunderstorms every night. We weren’t complaining though, it was quite nice to be holed up in our beautiful apartment, with a view to die for.

Saint Lorenzo, Perugia
Overlooking Perugia from the top of the hill
Etruscan Arch, Perugia
But we did get out into Perugia, and it is a beautiful Historic town. Etruscan arches from as early as 1200BC are still used, and underneath the Saint Lorenzo cathedral you can see the remnants of the original church, which have been excavated and preserved. The city also has an amazing collection of the 12th to 19th century art that typifies Italy. A museum card for 10EURO will give you 48 hours access to up to 5 museums in Perugia, and is a fantastic way to spend a few days.

But for those who love chocolate, let me suggest you go to Perugia. There is an awesome little shop there where you can buy everything, and I mean everything, in chocolate, a laptop, cellphone, cake slice etc. In addition to this you can also go on a chocolate tasting tour, lasting around two hours, where you can sample the delicious delicacies and see where it is made.

After exploring the town for several hours, we headed home for another thunderstorm. One of the services our hosts offered was a three course dinner (25 Euro), served in the guest dining room at the base of the tower. Francesco’s wife, Anne cooked her take on traditional Italian food, and the results are delicious. I will not go on about how good it was, and instead I will let the photos speak for themselves.

Dessert in Perugia
Antipasti Course, Perugia
The beautiful dinner table

Needless to say we wished we had longer in Perugia to enjoy the hospitality of our hosts, but Naples is a calling and we set off on Sunday.

Ginga musings out.

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