What to see in Perugia - Things to see in Perugia







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What to see - Things to see in Perugia           (Back to Perugia main information page)  

The monumental centre of Perugia is represented by the Piazza IV Novembre which has been for many centuries the meeting points of the citizens of Umbria and the for the ancient Etruscans and Roman civilisations.

The Piazza as a magnificent steep alleys which lead as far as the oldest walls of the original Etruscan nucleus reachable through the ancient gates of Porta Marzia, Porta Sole, Porta Cornea, Porta Trasimena, Porta della Mandorla and the Arco Etrusco.

Not a surprise that the Piazza is indeed considered one of the most beautiful squares in Italy as far as it is also surrounded by splendid buildings.

On the centre of the Piazza stands the Fontana Maggiore (The Great Fountain) a beautiful medieval fountain  erected in the XII century designed by Fr?Bevignate and constructed by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano.

The fountain is linked by the aqueduct which carried water to the town from Mount Pacciano. Decorated with two polygonal basins, it is covered by slabs of marbles representing biblical and mythological personages, saints, animals, and personifications of months, sciences, virtues, and places. Once, it represented the power of the city combining civil and religious aspects.

At the edge of the Piazza is also Palazzo dei Priori, once the residence of the chief political authorities of the city. Its origins dated 1298-1353.

 The palace, in red and white stones, has on the side facing the fountain a large stairway and a portal which gives access to the beautiful Sala dei Notari, from year 1290, the site where the nobility of the region once met. It has a beautiful volts supported by arches in Romanesque style decorated with magnificent frescos.

The interior of the Palazzo dei Priori comprises the National Gallery of Umbria, indeed the most important collection of art in Umbria for the Medieval and the Modern periods. The gallery hosts 30 rooms of art dating back to the XIII century.

Also in the Palazzo dei Priori is the e Sala del Collegio del Cambio (The Guild of Money-Changers), where it can be admired the most important work by Perugino, one of the most significant examples of Renaissance painting in Italy, a series of frescoes representing the heroes and deities of antiquity together with some personified virtues.

In the Palazzo is also the Sala del Collegio della Mercanzia (The Guild of Merchants), a notable artistic and historic gilded location, rather rare in Italy for its wooden panels; for instance the Guild of Merchants placed its seat in this palace in 1390 and the members ordered to cover the room for meetings with wooden panels.

In the Piazza we can also admire the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, whose work started in early 900s and finished at the end of 1400s. Inside, there is a magnificent Gothic architecture, an altarpiece by Signorelli and sculptures by Duccio.

Moreover, the elegant arches of the Loggia di Braccio, erected in 1423 where, under the portico, where we can admire remains of the Roman walls, the base of the old bell-tower and a copy of the Pietra della Giustizia (Stone of Justice), a document of the Comune of Perugia dating back to 1200. According to an old tradition, in the Chapel of Saint Ring is preserved the ring of the Virgin.

Not to miss are also the ?Giardini Carducci?, located atop a massive XVI century fortress, the Rocca Paolina (often used for art exhibitions), offering a lovely view of the countryside.

Finally, other beautiful site worth seeing are the Medieval Gardens, the Chiesa di San Pietro, the Pozzo Etrusco, and the magnificent Tempio di Sant?Angelo, which offers to the visitor hidden symbolism carved in to the walls.


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