All SEE in Perugia

One of the most beautiful countries in the world, Italy is well known for its rich art and culture, and for its numerous landmarks. With 54 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, more than any other country in the world, and an estimated 100,000 monuments of any sort (churches, palaces, museums, fountains, sculptures and archaeological remains), Italy is home to about half of the world’s artistic treasures. And if you are looking for inspiration, find below a list of the most famous tourist attractions in Perugia, Umbria…

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    Fontana Maggiore

    Fontana Maggiore is considered the most beautiful and famous fountain of the Middle Ages, the emblem of the medieval Perugia and the simbol of the city for almost 800 years.   SHORT HISTORY Fontana Maggiore was built between 1275 and 1278 by the sculptors Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, father and son. The fountain was damaged by the earthquake of 1348, and its panels were restored in an arbitrary order. In 1948, it was restored with inappropriate materials (cement), and it was necessary a further restoration. In March 2017, Fontana Maggiore has returned to its splendor after a long restoration.   ARCHITECTURE The fountain consists of two polygonal pools in white and pink stone, topped by a bronze cup with a bronze group of three nymphs supporting an amphora, from which the water flows. Originally, on their heads, there were four bronze griffins, for each cardinal point, that are now exposed in the National Gallery of Umbria. The tiles of the lower basin reproduce emblematic scenes of the Old Testament (the seduction of Adam by Eva, of Samson by Dalila), of the foundation of Rome, a calendar cycle of agricultural works interspersed with representations of the zodiacal signs. These are followed Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Vescovile

    Palazzo Vescovile is a palace in Piazza IV Novembre, which incorporates a part of the old Palazzo del Podesta (the three arched gothic windows on the right), remains from the 16th century, before the palace was burned.   SHORT HISTORY On this place, between 1283 and 1292, Palazzo del Podesta (the Town Hall) was built. After a fire in 1329, it was rebuilt. In 1414, Braccio Fortebracci occupied the palace and he remained there until 1424, as Lord of Perugia. He built the Loggia which is now part of the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. The palace was later used by the papal governors of Perugia and, in 1534, when Ridolfo Baglioni conquered Perugia, Palazzo del Podesta was burned again. In the 16th century, Pope Pius IV allowed Cardinal Fulvio della Corgna to build two buildings on the site of the former Palazzo del Podesta – the episcopal seminary and the Palazzo Vescovile (the Bishop’s Palace). Later, between 1586 and 1591, the Cardinal Antonio Maria Gallo has made improvements to the palace.   HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo Vescovile is located in Piazza IV Novembre, near Palazzo dei Priori. The closest bus stations are in P.G. Matteotti, 250 meters away, and Read more [...]

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    Via Maestà delle Volte

    Via Maestà delle Volte is, probably, the most beautiful street in Perugia, although it does not have more than 100 meters. Its name comes from a fresco known as Maestà delle Volte, that most likely portrayed Madonna with the Child. The street starts from Piazza IV Novembre and ends in Piazza Cavallotti. At number 1, you can find the facade of the Church of the Maestà delle Volte, now a clothing store. Near the church, is a small arch from pink and white stone, belonging to the Oratory of the Maestà delle Volte, built in 1335 to protect the fresco mentioned above. To the right of the church, is a ceramic panel placed at the end of the Second World War, by G. Belleti, representing the Madonna with the Child and Saints Ercolano and Costanzo presenting the city to the Virgin. About 15 meters further, as you walk along the street, you will find the Fountain of Via Maestà delle Volte, built in 1928 by the architect Pietro Angelini, under an ancient arch of the 15th century.   HOW TO GET THERE Via Maestà delle Volte is near the Piazza IV Novembre, in the middle of historic city of Perugia. Read more [...]

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    Piazza IV Novembre

    Piazza IV Novembre is a beautiful square in the historic center of Perugia, gathering the most important buildings and monuments of the city, from Palazzo dei Priori, to Fontana Maggiore and the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. Piazza IV Novembre is also the setting for summer concerts during the Umbria Jazz Festival. In autumn, it becomes the headquarters of the Fiera dei Morti, a traditional event that takes place every year since 1260, coinciding with the All Saints’ Day. In June, there is also Perugia 1416, a historical re-enactment of the conquest of the city by Braccio Fortebracci. Last but not least, in the square is held Eurochocolate, a chocolate fair founded in 1993.   SHORT HISTORY Piazza IV Novembre stands on the former site of the ancient Roman Forum. In the Middle Ages, it has become the starting point for five main streets, known as the Royal Streets. In the 9th century, the Cathedral of San Lorenzo was built, and the square has qualified as a representative space for political and religious power, a role confirmed later by the establishment of the municipal government buildings. The current structure is that defined by the restructuring of the Platea Magna Comunis (the Read more [...]

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    Church of the Maestà delle Volte

    The Church of the Maestà delle Volte was a church in Perugia, from which today only the facade has remained. The church is now a clothing store on via Maestà delle Volte, but it still retains its architecture and some of the original frescoes.   SHORT HISTORY In 1297, on the street that passes under the Palazzo del Podesta, was placed a fresco known as Maestà delle Volte, which most likely portrayed Madonna with the Child. An oratory was built in 1335 to house the fresco, that was replaced by a larger church, between 1440 and 1470. Probably, Agostino di Duccio decorated the church in 1475. The church was damaged in 1534, when Ridolfo Baglioni conquered Perugia and set fire to the adjacent palace. Restorations took place in 1538 and between 1557 and 1558. In 1566, when the church became part of the Episcopal Seminary, Bishop Fulvio della Corgna initiated further renovations. The church was a meeting place for the Compagnia della Morte until the end of the 16th century, after which it moved to its own church, Church of Compagnia della Buona Morte. At the end of the 16th century, the facade of the church was built after a Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Domenico

    Basilica of San Domenico, one of the most important churches in Perugia, overlooks a small square, Piazza Giordano Bruno, and can be seen from all over the city, thanks to the 126 meters high tower.   SHORT HISTORY The Dominicans arrived in Perugia around 1230 and, between 1231 and 1260, they built a primitive church where the Basilica of San Domenico stands today. In the years to come, the Dominican order will become important and, in 1304, the construction of a new, larger church will begin. The church will be consecrated by Pope Pio II Piccolomini in 1459. At the start of the 17th century, the nave collapsed and the church was entirely rebuilt following Carlo Maderno’s design, between 1629 and 1632.   ARCHITECTURE The church has an impressive facade, which opens at the top to a stairway with a double ramp. Inside, it has the layout of a Latin cross and is characterised by simplicity. The austerity of the nave contrasts the Gothic style of the glass windows, dated from 1411 and signed by Bartolomeo di Pietro and by Mariotto di Nardo. The top window, 23 meters high, is the largest of the era after the Duomo of Milan. Read more [...]

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    Perugia Cathedral of San Lorenzo

    The Cathedral of San Lorenzo, dedicated to Saint Lawrence, deacon in the service of Pope Sixtus II, martyred in Rome in the year 258, is part of an architectural complex that, taken as a whole, is called the island of San Lorenzo or the castle of San Lorenzo.   SHORT HISTORY A church was initially built in the 9th century on the ancient forum of the Etruscan city. It was then rebuilt between the 11th and the 12th century, to house the remains of the bishop Ercolano, martyred at the time of the Ostrogoths invasion, in the 6th century. In 1300, the church was expanded, under the supervision of the benedictine monk Bevignate. A considerable time has passed between the planning and the completion of the work, two centuries later, in 1507. In the second half of the nineteenth century, by the will of Cardinal Gioacchino Pecci, then bishop of Perugia and future pontiff, the cathedral received a neo-gothic appearance – the structure preserved to this day.   ARCHITECTURE The Cathedral, with its southern façade, serves as a background to Piazza Maggiore, today Piazza IV Novembre, which gathers in a single space, at the same time functional and symbolic, the Read more [...]

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    Fountain of Via Maestà delle Volte

    The Fountain of Via Maestà delle Volte (Fontana di via Maestà delle Volte) is a beautiful fountain in Perugia, built in 1928 by the architect Pietro Angelini, under an ancient arch of the 15th century that frames it. The fountain, realized in medieval style, fits harmoniously in the context of the via Maestà delle Volte, seemingly from the same time period, but the inscription in Roman characters refers to the 20th century. The griffin, symbol of the Municipality of Perugia, is carved in the central tile of the pool, as on other public buildings. The fountain was restored in 2016, thanks to the Art Bonus 2015 donations.   HOW TO GET THERE The fountain is near the Piazza IV November, very close to a more famous fountain, Fontana Maggiore, only 70 meters away. To get there, use the map below.

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    Palazzo dei Priori

    Palazzo dei Priori is one of the best examples of public buildings in the Middle Ages. Located in the central Piazza IV Novembre, it still hosts today the Town Hall and, on the top floors, the National Gallery of Umbria.   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo dei Priori was built in Gothic style between 1293 and 1443, in several construction phases. The irregularity of the façades is explained in the long course of construction, aimed at continuous additions and renovations. First, between 1293 and 1297, was built the palace for the Capitano del Popolo by Giacomo di Servadio and Giovanello di Benevento. Each of the two main floors comprised a single room. The room on the lower floor was originally the Sala del Consiglio, the room used for meetings of the Council that advised the Capitano del Popolo, that it later became the Sala dei Notari (Hall of Notaries). The room above is today the Sala Podiani of the Galleria Nazionale. Between 1333 and 1337, there was the first enlargement, when it was built the right side, with two windows and the portico of three arches, replaceing the church of San Severo. With the additions from 1353, the palace reached Via dei Read more [...]