PERUGIA: THE SPLENDID CAPITAL OF THE REGION OF UMBRIA, GREEN HEART OF ITALY
With its Etruscan walls and a gorgeous Medieval center, Perugia is not only a city for the gluttonous (re: chocolate), but for artists and art lovers alike.
This splendid capital of the Region of Umbria is also a culture capital, and the seat of two important universities: the University for Foreigners, the foremost in Italy, and the Università degli Studi.
Over the centuries Perugia has been dominated by numerous different peoples, starting with the Etruscans who probably founded Perugia in the 6th century B.C., evidence of which can be found in the many archaeological remains. The city lies on a hill 1,640 ft above sea level, with the old town spreading all around it, and partly surrounded by two perimeter walls, Etruscan and Medieval. The exterior of the two, from the Medieval Age, remains intact over an expanse of a few kilometers, and along it one encounters several different entrances or portals. The interior wall is the Etruscan perimeter characterized by the large masses used in its construction. The historic center is instead a certified 14th-Century borgo, and one of the prettiest in Italy.
Entering from the Porta San Pietro, one will find the Gothic Basilica of San Domenico, on the inside of which are statues and works by esteemed local artists – among these the wooden choir stalls stand out.
In the architectural complex of San Domenico, the cloisters and the convent host the National Archaeological Museum of Umbria.
Visitors should be sure to see Piazza Matteotti as well, with its 15th-Century Palazzo dell’Universita Vecchia, and Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo. Then, one of Italy’s most important, Piazza IV Novembre, is the city’s monumental social hub. On this central piazza sits Palazzo dei Priori, the symbol of governmental power; the cathedral (religious power) and; at its nucleus, the Maggiore Fountain, completed in the 1200s and fed by the aqueduct originating on Monte Pacciano.
Palazzo dei Priori is also the seat of Umbria’s National Gallery; its interior boasts valuable works of art realized by artists with strong ties to the Umbrian territory. Among the masterpieces, one should note: the Polyptych of St. Anthony by Piero della Francesca, and the Polyptych of San Domenico by Beato Angelico.
Perugia, besides its vast artistic heritage, hosts events of international renown, especially Eurochocolate (every autumn) and Umbria Jazz (mid-July).
And despite its magnificent Medieval facade, Perugia has always been a rather innovative city. After all, it was the first Italian locality to build escalators in several points throughout the city, in order to facilitate pedestrians on their way to the city center.
USEFUL INFORMATION & LINKS
Region of Umbria Tourism
Commune of Perugia Tourism
UNIVERSITY FOR FOREIGNERS OF PERUGIA – ITALY’S AMBASSADOR IN THE WORLD
Founded in the early 1920’s with the aim of teaching Italian civilization and artistic heritage to foreigners, this University has distinguished itself from the beginning as a symbol of open-mindedness and tolerance and as a meeting point for people of different cultures, now a real ‘laboratory’ of intercultural education.
Its exclusive identity is currently represented by the specialist vocation of teaching Italian as a second language and everything that goes with it, such as art, literature and business. Its institutional responsibility is to promote Italian language and culture throughout the world and a greater appreciation for the diversities among us.
Since the beginning of the Nineties this extraordinary experience of internationalization has been expanded and completed in terms of teaching, with the introduction of Bachelor and Master degree courses and postgraduate degrees for Italian and foreign students in the fields of teaching and promotion of the Italian language and culture and international communication and international relations.
The University is located in Perugia, one of the most interesting cities in Italy in terms of its artistic, historical and monumental patrimony. In central Italy, between Rome and Florence, Perugia is a lively and modern cultural center, characterized by a rich annual agenda of events and exhibitions, rendering it interesting all year round.
The University for Foreigners headquarters is in the historical Palazzo Gallenga, in the center of town, very close to the other four campus buildings – Prosciutti, Orvieto, Valitutti and Lupattelli – in the heart of a complex in the splendid “Santa Margherita” urban park.
UNIVERSITY FOR FOREIGNERS OF PERUGIA
Piazza Fortebraccio n. 4
06123 Perugia (Italy)