Located at the heart of Central Italy, Perugia is a historic city full of the character of the region. The capital city of the quiet, rural region of Umbria, Perugia is easily reached by many of the surrounding regions – about a two-hour drive from both Florence to the north and Rome to the south – yet it has managed to keep the peaceful charm of its neighbouring fields and valleys.
While its tradition and history cannot be overstated, Perugia is a city proud of its place in modern Italy. A popular university city, there is plenty of life along its cobbled streets and old alleyways, making this a fantastic place to visit for people staying at luxury holiday villas in Tuscany. A weekend break could be the perfect way to experience Perugia – take a look at our two-day itinerary for a visit to the city.
Saturday AM – Sweet Trails
One of the more fascinating facts about Perugia is that it is regarded as something of a chocolate haven by Italians. The city is the home of Perugina, a famous Italian chocolate company that was founded here in the early 1900s and was recently bought out by chocolate superpower Nestlé. Their factory in the city, known as Nestlé-Perugina, is a hive for sweet tooths from across the country and is open for a range of tours and tastes, making for the perfect day out!
Once you’ve got all of that sugar inside of you, Saturday is the perfect opportunity to discover the young and vibrant side of life in the ancient city. T-Trane, just down the street from the Catholic Church, is a renowned hangout spot that combines a vinyl store and a bar, which is definitely worth popping your head inside. Meanwhile, the city centre and outskirts are dotted with trendy shopping locations for the town’s younger population, while there are also some prominent local designers who maintain their primary outlets in Perugia – the perfect place to grab some local outfits before the night!
Saturday PM – Eating Out
Keeping with the style of many Italian cities, Perugia is blessed with countless restaurants offering up local produce in surrounds full of heritage. Given the rural region in which Perugia finds itself, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of heartful options on the menu that are perfect for all occasions.
La Taverna is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking to brush shoulders with the locals. Sat in the heart of central Perugia, La Taverna is a small, cosy restaurant surrounded by the bricks with which the city was built and has a reputation for using the freshest local produce available. The restaurant is also frequently praised for the quality of its service, making it the perfect place to enjoy an evening’s meal in the city.
Sunday AM – Explore Perugia’s History
There’s no escaping it, and chances are that you’ve already marvelled at many of the landmarks seen throughout the city. However, a lazy Sunday morning is the perfect time to discover the reality of Perugia’s history. Find a local bar and grab a morning gelato before heading out on your journey through Perugia’s ancient streets.
The Piazza IV Novembre makes the perfect starting point for any trip through Perugia’s past. The ancient centre of the city, the area was used as a meeting point during the Roman Era, while the Fontana Maggiore in its centre, dating back to the late 1200s, is famous for its 25 sides depicting religious figures, signs of the zodiac and events from Roman history. The Palazzo dei Priori is another must-see landmark in the area, dating back to the 13th century and featuring a uniquely gothic style.
Sunday PM – Find Your View
The perfect way to wrap up your weekend break in Perugia, the hilltop city boasts plenty of places with stunning views over rural Italy. Find somewhere to relax on the outskirts of the ancient landmark and watch the sunset with the people that you love, a quintessential part of the Italian way of life. That being said, the view of Puglia is what you make of it – it can be just as pleasurable to watch the Sunday shadows form across the old cobbled streets of Perugia’s historic centre, so find your favourite spot from the last two days and enjoy the view one more time before heading back.
This is just a flavour of what can be experienced during a holiday to this region. Full of art, culture and character, Perugia is a small city that you won’t want to miss! Still need convincing? Check out our top tips for visiting Umbria!