A New way to Experience Perugia - Part 1
During my 7 years in Italy, I had the privilege of extensively traveling through this incredible country. From bustling Milan to the stunning Amalfi Coast and beyond, I have learned to appreciate storied Italy with different eyes. Enjoying the otherworldly street food in Rome after a Lazio game at the Olimpico stadium, driving to unknown villages to find that perfect nonna’s restaurant, or even the sight of the locals, intensely focused on their Briscola card game every Sunday afternoon. In my eyes, the beauty of this destination lies in the simple, everyday things that are often overlooked.
When visiting Perugia, many look for the wrong things and fail to appreciate it for what it’s worth. Of course we can’t compare it with the endless artistic patrimony of Florence or the history of Rome. What we can do however, is appreciate it as a mirror into a more genuine Italy.
Needless to say Perugia is an underrated destination, this small capital of the lush Umbria region harbors more than what meets the eye. The old town is perched atop the hill overlooking the countryside, cobbled streets are narrow and quaint - typical for a city its size. Griffins dominate the medieval walls, symbols of a once powerful province, and the entire city enjoys a dormant ambiance, aside from the youthful students at dusk.
Aside from the usual attractions or events - we'll discuss more about this topic in part 2 - Perugia must be explored, not visited. Set the map aside and follow whichever path feels right. Recommendations are great, but they create expectations and completely ruin the element of surprise. The moment when you try the local Sagrantino wine and exclaim: Where have you been all my life?! Every restaurant in old town Perugia will have amazing ratings, every pastry shop follows a family recipe, and every coffee shop will make your Marocchino coffee slightly different. This city allows you to create YOUR unique experience, not someone else’s.
Perugia does, in fact, live in the shadow of its more popular neighbors and, in all honesty, it means we can enjoy its raw beauty for just a bit longer.