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5 must-see places in Perugia’s city center

Visiting Perugia - Piazza IV Novembre

If you are coming to Perugia for a day, take note of these special places.


Perugia is the biggest town of Umbria, it is also the administrative center of the region and offers many attractions to tourists because of its corners rich in culture, history and charm.

The town is candidate as ‘the European Capital of Culture‘ for 2019, together with Assisi. If it will be chosen, during 2019 its creative and cultural personality could be showed to other European countries through events, exhibitions and much more.

In the meanwhile you can admire its beauty by visiting these 5 main sights in the historic center:

  • Fontana Maggiore (Maggiore Fountain)

This wonderful fountain is located in Piazza IV Novembre (4th November’s square), at the end of the most important avenue in Perugia: Corso Vannucci. It was designed by Nicola Pisano and receives waters from Mount Pacciano, not far from the town center. Richly decorated, the fountain has undergone several restorations that have given it a still greater beauty.

  • Palazzo dei Priori (Priori’s Palace)

This Palace is reachable from Corso Vannucci and Piazza IV Novembre and it has been hosting the town hall since 14th century. It has been built in Gothic style with an imposing staircase that faces on the Piazza. At the third floor you can admire the Umbrian National Gallery where there are the majority of Umbrian art masterpieces and other works coming from Central Italy. For example, here you can find paintings by Piero della Francesca, Pinturicchio and Perugino.

Visiting Perugia - Chiesa di Sant'Ercolano

Sant’Ercolano Church is an octagonal church dedicated to one of the protectors of Perugia

  • Rocca Paolina (Paolina fortress)

You can visit this ancient fortress at the beginning of Corso Vannucci, next to Piazza Italia. It has represented the papal power over the city until the 19th century. Nowadays it is possible to visit only the undergrounds because the fortress was destroyed at the end of 19th century.

During the year it hosts exhibitions, conferences, markets and many other events.

  • Giardini Carducci (Carducci gardens)

These gardens are situated near Piazza Italia and the Rocca Paolina and they are dedicated to the Italian poet Giosuè Carducci. From here you can enjoy a great view over Perugia and its surroundings. A really unmissable place if you love taking pictures!

If you prefer you can relax on benches or take a short walk through the flower beds and the busts of famous people.

  • Scalette e Chiesa di Sant’Ercolano (St. Ercolano’s stairs and Church)

This outstanding octagonal Church is reachable using the stair (with many steps) that comes from Oberdan Street to Corso Cavour. St. Ercolano is one of the protectors of Perugia and its Church was created over the place where the bishop was martyred in 549 A. C. The Church has been shaped in Gothic style and is equipped with an entrance staircase and a bell and clock tower. Inside, a Roman sarcophagus contains the remains of the Saint and is used as an altar for religious celebrations.

If you like visiting cities from the alleys, I can suggest you to take a look of this city guide with several walking tours in Perugia: Hidden Perugia.

About Marina Foddis

I am Umbrian with a Sardinian heart. I can define myself as a "travelaholic". I love sea and I like sailing. Cruising is my favorite holiday. I also like urban trekking and walking in the nature. I have obtained a degree in Tourism economics.

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