I arrived in the Umbrian city of Perugia on Monday. There was a bus from the airport to the city centre and it was an easy walk from Piazza Italia to San Fiorenzo B&B. My room is rather cell-like, with a high window and brick ceiling. On the plus side it is very quiet at night and the thick walls mean that the temperature is fairly constant. The days have been warm (about 27 degrees) and the nights cool enough for a blanket.

Perugia is a medieval hill town. Most streets are on a slope  so no matter how much pasta you eat and wine you drink you won’t out on weight. There are  just too many steep hills and stairs.

Perugia has escalators which I presume replaced stairs. One set of escalators goes through the Rocca Paolina, a fortress built in 1540s. There are rooms to explore with vaulted brick ceilings if you feel like a break from standing on the escalator. There is also a light rail from the city centre to the main railway centre and a couple of stations beyond. I am always amazed at how ancient cities adapt to the present age without losing that sense and look of history. The buildings seem old  but must be modified to suit the age, even if that’s only internal. Doesn’t everyone wants a decent bathroom, kitchen, access to TV and internet?

Just up the street from where I am staying is the centre of Perugia, Piazza 1V Novembre. It’s home to the Cathedral of San Lorenzo and a fountain, Fontana Maggiore, both built around the 13th century. It attracts tourists and students from the local university so it’s always busy and lively.

Back in 4th century BC the Etruscans built a wall around Perugia. On Tuesday I followed a map of the remaining Etruscan walls and archways and managed to see quite a lot before I got lost, gave up and had a coffee.


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