All SEE in Perugia

The historical center of Perugia is a wonderful collection of brick houses and small squares conected by winding alleys and stairways. It is a pleasure to get lost in the narrow streets of the city, and to discover Perugia, this is, by far, the best way.

The most important attractions in Perugia are concentrated in Piazza IV Novembre. There, you can find Palazzo dei Priori, which houses the National Gallery of Umbria (Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria), the famous Fontana Maggiore, and the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, the Cathedral of Perugia.

Besides these, worth mentioning are the Basilica of San Pietro, the Basilica of San Domenico, the Rocca Paolina citadel, the Etruscan Arch, and the Medieval Aqueduct.

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    Church of San Fortunato

    The Church of San Fortunato is a church in Perugia, located in Piazza Braccio Fortebraccio, between Via Pinturicchio and Via Bartolo, in the northern part of the historical center of the city. The church, one of the oldest in Perugia, is dedicated to Saint Fortunatus of Todi.   SHORT HISTORY According to tradition, the church was built on the ruins of an Etruscan structure, not far from the Arch of Augustus. However, the presence of the church is attested since 1163. Around 1630, the Sylvestrines (Congregazione Silvestrina) moved here from the Church of Santa Maria Nuova, which in turn was sold to the Servants of Mary. The Church of San Fortunato was rebuilt starting with 1634. In 2017, after long restoration works following the 1997 earthquake, the church was reopened for worship, and also became a multipurpose space for cultural activities.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE On the facade of the church, there is a round arched portal, surmounted by a rose window. Above the rose window, there is a mullioned window in the center, and two other single windows on the sides. The portal and the windows have terracotta frames. The roof and the bell-gable are remains of the medieval Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Vescovile

    Palazzo Vescovile (Bishop’s Palace) is a palace in Perugia, located in Piazza IV Novembre, near Palazzo dei Priori, in the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY On this site, between 1283 and 1292, Palazzo del Podesta was built. After it was damaged by fire in 1329, it was rebuilt. In 1414, Braccio Fortebracci made the palace his residence, and lived there until 1424, as Lord of Perugia. Fortebracci built the loggia located on the northern side of Piazza IV Novembre, which is now part of the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. Palazzo Vescovile was later used by the papal governors of Perugia. In 1534, when Ridolfo Baglioni conquered Perugia, Palazzo del Podesta was again set on fire. 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 Bishop’s Palace. Later, between 1586 and 1591, Cardinal Antonio Maria Gallo made improvements to the palace.   ARCHITECTURE The palace 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 set on fire.   HOW 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 is a former church in Perugia, located in Via Maestà delle Volte, a few meters away from Piazza IV Novembre. Today, the structure houses a clothing store, but its facade – the only remnant of the old church, still retains its beautiful architecture and some of the original frescoes.   SHORT HISTORY In 1297, on the street which passes under Palazzo del Podesta, was placed a fresco known as Maestà delle Volte, which most likely portrayed a Madonna with Child. In 1335, an oratory was built to house the fresco. Later, the oratory was replaced by a larger church, erected between 1440 and 1470. 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 again 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 Company of Death (Compagnia della Morte) until the end of the 16th century. Then, the organization moved to its own church, Church of Compagnia della Buona 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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    Cathedral of San Lorenzo

    The Cathedral of San Lorenzo is the Cathedral of Perugia, located in Piazza IV Novembre, in the historical center of the city. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Lawrence, deacon in the service of Pope Sixtus II, martyred in Rome in the year 258. The church is part of a larger architectural complex which, taken as a whole, is known as the Island of San Lorenzo or the Castle of San Lorenzo.   SHORT HISTORY A church was built on this area in the 9th century, on the remains of the ancient forum of the Etruscan city. The church was rebuilt later, between the 11th and the 12th centuries, to house the remains of the bishop Ercolano, martyred during the Ostrogoth invasion, in the 6th century. At the beginning of the 14th century, the church was expanded under the supervision of the Benedictine monk Bevignate of Cingoli. A considerable time passed between the planning and the completion of the works, two centuries later, in 1507. In the second half of the 19th century, by the will of Cardinal Gioacchino Pecci, then bishop of Perugia and future pontiff, the cathedral received a Neo-Gothic appearance, which was preserved to this day.   Read more [...]

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    Fontana di Via Maestà delle Volte

    Fontana di Via Maestà delle Volte is a beautiful fountain in Perugia, located in Via Maestà delle Volte, about 60 meters away from Piazza IV Novembre.   SHORT HISTORY Fontana di Via Maestà delle Volte was built in 1928 by the architect Pietro Angelini, under an ancient arch from the 15th century. The fountain, realized in medieval style, fits harmoniously in the context of Via Maestà delle Volte, seemingly from the same time period. However, 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 in the city. The fountain was restored in 2016, thanks to the Art Bonus 2015 donations.   HOW TO GET THERE Fontana di Via Maestà delle Volte is located about 1.8 kilometers away from the Perugia railway station. The closest bus stop is located about 50 meters away, in Piazza Felice Cavallotti, on the bus Lines C, F, Z2, Z3, Z20 and Z21.

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    Palazzo dei Priori

    Palazzo dei Priori is a Gothic palace in Perugia, located in Piazza IV Novembre, in the historical center of the city. Palazzo dei Priori houses today the Municipal Offices of Perugia and, on the top floors, the National Gallery of Umbria (Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria).   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo dei Priori was built in Gothic style between 1293 and 1443, a period divided into several construction phases. The irregularity of its facades is explained by the long course of construction, in which continuous additions and renovations were made. First, between 1293 and 1297, the palace for the Captain of the People (Capitano del Popolo) was built by Giacomo di Servadio and Giovanello di Benevento. Each of the two main floors of the palace comprised of a single large hall. The hall on the lower floor was originally known as the Council Hall (Sala del Consiglio), a hall used for meetings of the council which advised the Captain of the People. Later, the hall became known as the Hall of Notaries (Sala dei Notari). The hall on the second floor, known as Sala Podiani, belongs today to the National Gallery of Umbria. Between 1333 and 1337, there was the first enlargement of Read more [...]

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    Fontana Maggiore

    Fontana Maggiore is considered the most beautiful and famous fountain of the Middle Ages in Italy, the emblem of the medieval Perugia and the simbol of the city for almost 800 years. The fountain is located in Piazza IV Novembre, in the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY Fontana Maggiore was built between 1275 and 1278 by the sculptors Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, father and son, after a design by frà Bevignate of Cingoli. 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 returned to its splendor after a long restoration.   ART AND 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 (Seduction of Adam by Eva, Read more [...]