Exploring Perugia’s surroundings

View over Assisi in Italy

View over Assisi ©ChrisYunker/Flickr

Umbria is known for being Italy’s most rural region; therefore you should bear this aspect in mind when you start exploring Perugia’s surroundings. Better said, be prepared for the true Italian experience hiding in picturesque, little towns with smiling Italian people saying ‘hi’ in their now famous manner: ‘Ciao bella signorina!’.

Let’s face it, when you hear that first thing in the morning, everything else will just seem, look and feel better. This is usually the effect Italy has on people.

Gubbio

You should know this is the oldest town is this region, having been at its peak during the Middle Ages. There are many testimonies of its former glory such as the cathedral or the Consul’s Palace. The latter is also somewhat of a symbol for Gubbio and its beauty is completed by that of the Ducal Palace.

Gubbio view

Gubbio view ©rosemarydukelow/Flickr

Art and architecture are not the main attractions of this city, many tourists choosing to visit it to attend the amazing traditional festivals organized here: Corsa dei Ceri (Candle Race) held to honor the memory of Gubbio’s Patron Saint and Palio Balestra (this is a medieval crossbow contest during which the participants have to be on horseback) which celebrates the glorious past of the city.

Assisi

You don’t have to be a particularly religious person to appreciate the uniqueness of this place. Assisi is a town charged with history and spirituality whose origins go far back to the Roman and Etruscan periods but also to the beginning of Christianity. Although every building and every stone in this little town is a living history, Assisi might not be so known today if it hadn’t been the birth place of Saint Francisc of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order. His tomb is nowadays a place where endless rows of pilgrims gather hoping to be touched by the Saint’s holiness. The Church Saint Francisc of Assisi is in fact a large pilgrimage and touristic complex, consisting of the Sanctuary (which has three overlapping churches), the holy tomb and the museum.

View over Assisi in Italy

View over Assisi ©ChrisYunker/Flickr

These are just two of the most representative places you could visit around Perugia. The idea is that any of Italy’s small towns has something to offer its tourists. All of them have ancient and medieval buildings, nice narrow streets and very friendly people. As such, exploring Perugia’s surroundings may lead you to places such as Duomo or Spoleto and you will be convinced that Italy is one giant medieval fortress with small, nice medieval towns spread all over its surface.

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