Perugia is a nice medieval town, its setting in the hills of Umbria is enchanting, but this fact makes the town arduous for people with knee problems. However, You never saw a city with more steps. Furthermore Perugia is very famous for its university. Every year hundreds of exchange students join different language courses, mainly italian ones. This makes the city lively and multicultural. The burghers of Perugia are probably some of the politest and most pleasant people in Italy, although they once imprisoned St. Francis of Assisi. More than this, the town was infamous for celebrating the Battaglia de’ Sassi (Battle of Stones), during which two teams threw rocks at each other until a sufficient number of casualties or fatalities left a winner.
In 1538 Perugia, for a long time the most violent and disreputable town, found itself crushed underneath the Papal heel when it fell to Pope Paul III., where it remained until 1859. Reminders of this (unloved) time and as well of the (more pleasant) medieval times can still be seen everywhere in the city. The Palazzo dei Priori is one of the main sights in town. Other major attractions include the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria and the Palazzo delle Penne where you find the collection of Dottore Beuys, the Cattedrale San Lorenzo and the Fontana Maggiore. All of these are in the historic centre and not too far from one another. The Museo Archeologico is at the south end of the city and has a good collection of artifacts from Etruscan times.
Perugia is a beautiful city of about 180,000. The lower part of the city is modern, with the famous Perugina chococlate factory. As you go up the mountain the city slowly turns into an ancient medeival city. It’s incredible to see modern shops and such built right into narrow and windy medeival streets. The old part of the city boasts some nice and fairly inexpensive hotels. We stayed at the Hotel Priori which I enjoyed quite a bit. On a clear day you can see across the valley to the opposite mountain on which sits the city of Assisi, famous for the 3 level Bascillica of St. Francis.