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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Saint Ubaldo’s Basilica – Gubbio

Vista della Basilica di Sant’Ubaldo, a cui piedi si trova un prato con una stradina che porta alla grande scalinata e all’ingresso.

A Brief Biography

The personage of young Ubaldo – who was officially declared a saint on March 5, 1192 – cannot be divided from Gubbio and the great love the town’s inhabitants still have for him. More than eight centuries later, in fact, its unique memory has not faded away: a sign of gratitude toward the Patron Saint for having been an inspirer of peace and reconciliation

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Saint Francis’ Church in Gubbio

Vista aerea di una porzione di Gubbio, con San Francesco ben visibile sulla sinistra. Sullo sfondo le campagne umbre e il Teatro Romano.

Francis, the Man; and Gubbio

The story of Gubbio and Francis of Assisi means the discovery of an intense relationship, interwoven with travels, friendship, and feelings. Francis’ father, Bernardone (“Big Bernard”), had frequent trades with Gubbio, often taken care of by Francis himself, who therefore happened more than once to get there for business. In Gubbio the wealthy Spada familiy, a.k.a. Spadalonga (respectively = sword, and long sword), active in the field of wool and fabrics, also “provided” Francis with the friendship of their young sons, with whom he would spend his days over there. One of them was among his comrades in arms in the 1202 war between Assisi and Perugia.

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Piazza Grande (The Main Square)

Piazza Grande (The Main Square)

A Decentralized Center

Gubbio rises at the foot of Mount Ingino with a strong self-consciousness. Framed within a luxuriant Nature, rich in woods and trails, it is considered one of the most beautiful Medieval towns in Italy. A major feature of the old town center are the buildings in calcareous stone, that gives them a typically gray color. Stones that still envelope the secrets of past masters and masterpieces while filling one’s eyes and soul with awe and wonder.

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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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The Fontana Maggiore – Perugia

Vista della Fontana Maggiore dando le spalle alla cattedrale. Sullo sfondo la facciata di Palazzo dei Priori.

The Fontana Maggiore, a gem of Gothic sculpture

The Fontana Maggiore (Great Fountain) is the sculptural symbol of Perugia. It was built in 1278 to celebrate the completion of a long aqueduct that, by taking cleverly advantage of the principle of communicating vessels, could even conduct water uphill on Perugia’s hills. The fountain, surely among the oldest and most beautiful in Italy, is in fact considered a masterpiece of Gothic sculpture.

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