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Art, Archeology and Architecture

The Giardini Carducci are to the south at the end of Corso Vanucci. There you will find an antique market (open once a month) fabulous views and a fortress. This is the Rocca Paolina dating back to the 16th century. Paolo III had the fortress built in the rich medieval neighbourhood. Parts of these wealthy houses can still be seen. The scala mobile arrive at the Rocca Paolina.
The Perugia City Museum Circuit is a combined ticket that can be purchased in the Pozzo Etrusco, the Cappella di San Severo and the Cassero di Porta Sant’Angelo. This ticket gives you access to the three places and saves repeated queuing.
The Pozzo Etrusco is a 36-metre well constructed in the 3rd century BC by the Etruscans and was their most important water reservoir.
The Cappella di San Severo on Piazza Raffaelo boas allegedly the first fresco by Raphael, Trinity with Saints painted between 1505 and 1508, and frescoes by his student, Perugino.
The Cassero di Porta Sant’Angelo provides a sweeping view of Perugia and information about the three walls found in Perugia.
The Arco Etrusco is on Piazza Fortebraccio  It was the old gate letting people in and out of Perugia, constructed in the 3rd century BC. An inscription reading Augusta Perusia was later added by the Romans. The loggia on top of it is in the Renaissance style.
On Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi heading north on Piazza Lupatelli is the Chiesa di Sant’Agostino whose choir stalls were carved by Baccio d’Agnolo in the 16th century. It is still possible to see the marks left by the paintings which were removed by Napoleon’s men.
Go along Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi, turn into Via dei Tiempio and you will find one of the oldest Italian churches constructed between the 5th and 6th centuries. The church is said to be constructed where there was originally a pagan temple was and the inner columns were apparently part of Roman buildings.
On Piazza San Francesco is the Oratoria di San Bernardino, constructed in honour of the saint who came to Perugia to "spread the word". The Franciscan order commissioned Agostino di Duccio to plan it . The Tuscan artist’s design is in the beautiful Renaissance style. Particular features of the church to admire are its polychrome façade and its bas-relief of multicoloured marble, angels in limestone and musicians in terracotta.
Along Corso Cavour on Piazza Giordano Bruno sits the largest Perugian church, the Chiesa di San Domenico. Its construction started in 1304 and was finally finished 154 years later. It had to undergo reconstruction in the 1600s. A section of its interior cloisters belonged to a Romanesque church that lay there and its stained glass window was added in the Gothic epoch. As legends go, Benedict XI was poisoned and died in Perugia. His remains lie in the church. Its neighbouring convent houses the Museo Archeologico Nazionale dell’Umbria on the same piazza and displays an exquisite collection of Etruscan and prehistoric pieces, some of which are 37 centuries old, such as carved funerary urns, coins and a display of Bronze Age statues. The Perugian Memorial stone etched by the Etruscans has shed more light on their language.
For something a bit different, off Corso Cavour on Via Podiani there is a modern art museum, the Museo di Palazzo della Penna. Both the building and its pieces are interesting. Antiques and modernity harmonize beautifully with 18th and 19th century frescoes sitting alongside futuristic pieces by Gerardo Dottori and works by Joseph Beuys.
Chiesa di San Pietro was built in the 900s and is just past the Porta di San Pietro. Its doorway is frescoed and marble and gilt decoraton are crowned by a painting by Perugino of Madonna Holding Dead Jesus. Many female biblical characters were chosen to be depicted in this church. From the church there is access to the medieval gardens behind it. It is just one example of an established custom of monasteries which would create their own gardens whose plants represented the Garden of Eden and sacred stories of the Bible. Plants or trees are numbered. For instance in this garden number 7 represents the tree of good and evil.
Leaving Perugia, 5km away, is the Ipogeo dei Volumni where this Etruscan family were buried in the 2nd century. The urns are in the chambers underground. There are more burial chambers that have not yet been excavated around the Volumni. Bus 3 leaving from Piazza Italia takes you near to the burial site. If you are travelling by car take the Bonanzano exit and drive along the E45 southwards. The Perugina Chocolate Factory also offers guided tours in English or Italian, and makes another fun trip.





 
Umbria