It was good to get away from Perugia for a day. I should have taken more notice of the ‘lively student population’accolade in the Lonely Planet guide. There’s only so much hair tossing, loud shrieking and posing with cigarettes (and that’s just the boys) that a body can take. So off to Gubbio I went.
The bus takes about an hour from Perugia and the road winds up through hills thick with yellow-flowering gorse. In Australia hills like these would be classed as mountains. On the other side of the range was the lovely stone town of Gubbio. It is built with a steep hill to its back as defence and the streets of the town meander up the hill. Perched on the summit is a monastery and there is a cable car that will take you there. I didn’t fancy it. It was like a ski-lift but you had to stand in a small waist-high cage which took about three people.
There are a couple of grand buildings in the town, a palazzo and a cathedral but mostly it’s just pretty stone houses, little shops and cafes, all very old and mellow. This is a place that takes its lunch-time closing seriously. Not a soul to be seen except tourists and the even some of the shops along the main tourist street closed for 3 hours.
The people working the hardest were a film crew. They halted visitors to the cathedral while they shot part of a film. It involved a priest on a bicycle. I arrived just as people were allowed to move into the cathedral so didn’t know it was a film crew until I passed the ‘priest’ and thought ‘You’re much too good-looking to be a priest’! Then I saw the cameras and we were told to hurry on in as we were ‘in the frame’. There’s an Italian soap opera on SBS TV featuring a Don Pasquale? I think he is a detective priest. Maybe this was him.