Located in Umbria, known as ‘the green heart of Italy’, Perugia is a bustling city alive with students from its university and art academies.
Containing an impressive array of rich culture and history, Perugia is a great destination for “culture vultures” and those wishing to enjoy the lovely undulating surrounding countryside.
For art enthusiasts: Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria
Home to the region’s finest collection of Medieval and Renaissance paintings, the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria is absolutely stunning – and perfect for a winter’s trip to the area. With 30 rooms of artwork with some pieces dating back to the 13th century, as well as rooms dedicated to works from hometown heroes Perugino and Pinturicchio, it really is an art historian’s dream.
It is well worth checking out Capella dei Priori, the fresco cycle by Benedetto Bonfigli, a 15th century work which represents scenes from the life of patron saints Ludovicus and Hercanulus, with views of the town of Perugia as it was then.
For music lovers: Umbria Jazz
Perugia is host to one of Italy’s best-known contemporary music festivals, Umbria Jazz, which started in 1973. Umbria Jazz sees Perugia devote itself for 10 days to the best of Italian and international jazz music spread across several beautiful venues: the Carducci Gardens, the Pavone Theatre, Oratorio Santa Cecilia, Arena Santa Giuliana and Piazza IV Novembre.
The festival takes place in July and is a ‘must see’ for music fans from all over the world as every hour the strains of jazz music reverberate between the delightful Medieval buildings and squares.
For foodies: EuroChocolate
For chocaholics everywhere, EuroChocolate is an absolute dream – a week-long festival devoted entirely to ‘everything chocolate’, taking place from 19th to 28th October. Nearly one million tourists and Italians are attracted to the festival each year to enjoy chocolate art displays, experimental chocolate tastings, street performances and chocolate sculpting. In recent years, a chocolate igloo was constructed, made entirely of chocolate bricks, all 3,600 kilograms of them!
Although EuroChocolate has now extended to Rome and Turin, Perugia remains its spiritual home.
Where to stay
Luxury villas specialists CV Villas offer a wide range of beautiful Umbria villas, many of which are just a short drive from Perugia. Located in rural Umbria, Borgo San Biagio is a former Medieval hamlet that has been lovingly restored. A stone’s throw from Assisi and Perugia it is in a great location to explore the art and historic treasures of the area. Some of the most famous artistic centres of Tuscany, including Siena and Lucca, are also a day trip away.