Chocolate in Perugia

Su una superficie di colore nero sono posti polvere di cacao. riccioli di cioccolato ed una piccola pila composta da tocchi di cioccolato.

A Modern Tradition

Perugia only made friends with Chocolate in relatively recent times, but it is a story worth telling as it lets us see how one person – and, often unconsciously – can start a process destined to change the lives of many people, even a whole geographic area. In this case, it was not some foreign Lord of old (as it happened in other areas where food until then unknown was imported), or trades with exotic countries, what made Perugia “the town of chocolate.” The cause of this new tradition was simply one person with her own genius and passions – Luisa Spagnoli.

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Perugia Underground – The Archaeological Area

Vista dall'alto del muro di terrazzamento etrusco nella Perugia sotterranea. L'imponente muro, realizzato con grandi conci di travertino, è sormontato da una volta in mattoni.

Time Machine

The Archaeological Area, at the very core of the so-called Saint Lawrence “Island”, will give you the joy of a discovery trip throughout the centuries. Quite unknown to the local people themselves, these places are hidden inside the hill on which Perugia is built. By entering them, it will become clear how, starting from the Etruscans and via the Romans, then the Papal residence, the town acquired its current shape. Going from the cloister of the cathedral down into the archaeological area can be likened to a time machine that synchronizes its clock with ours more and more as we cross the centuries toward the surface.

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Saint Peter’s Abbey

Saint Peter’s Abbey in “Borgo Bello”

The way that starts from the Church of Saint Ercolano, and that in past times led directly to Rome, ends in Borgo Bello, the “Beautiful Suburb,” an area that developed thanks to the Benedictine abbey dedicated to Saint Peter.
As soon as you pass one of the monumental town gates, designed by Agostino di Duccio (1418 – ca 1481), you will notice the geometrical shape of Saint Peter’s belfry, with a sharp steeple that overlooks the low houses in the quarter. That belfry is one of Perugia’s symbols, along with the Etruscan Arch and the Great Fountain.
The complex currently includes – beside Saint Peter’s Church – the department of Agriculture of the Perugia University, and a Medieval-like botanical garden.

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The Rocca Paolina – Perugia

Spiazzo interno della Rocca Paolina. Grazie alle luci di lampadari e lampadine è possibile muoversi nella città sotterranea.

The Intriguing Story of a Fortress

In Perugia’s old town center, at the southern end of Corso Vannucci (Main Street) there is an area with flowerbeds, benches, and fountains, where the Palace of Perugia’s Province and the equestrian monument to the first king of united Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II (1820-1878), also rise. This is where a group of buildings existed, called Rocca Paolina: a fortress built by decision of Pope Paul III in the mid-16th century.

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The Palace of Priors

Vista frontale del Palazzo dei Priori.

A Town Symbol

The Palace of Priors is undoubtedly one of the most important buildings in Perugia, beside being a masterpiece in Gothic style. Its structure develops partly along Main Street (Corso Vannucci) in the old town center, and has its acme in the façade facing the main square, Piazza IV Novembre.
The square, one of the most beautiful in Italy, is marked by the strong polar opposition between the civil side of the town, precisely the Palace of Priors, and the religious side, i.e. the buildings in the so-called Saint Lawrence “Island,” in a Medieval atmosphere enlivened by the water springing from the Great Fountain.

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