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Perugia is the main city in Umbria and is located at one and a half hours from Florence and two hours away   from Rome. 

Perugia has been strategically built on a hill that dominates the valleys surrounding it: the Tiber valley, the Chiascio valley, the Topino valley and the lake area. The town has very ancient origins. It seems that it was originally founded by populations that lived in this territory before the Umbrian. Ancient Perusia, as it used to be named, was one of the twelve most important Etruscan towns. The external walls and the Etruscan Arc and various wells are the testimonies of its glorious past.

Although the Etruscans continuously fought against the Romans a few years after the Battle of Sentino (295 BC) the town was completely under the  Roman domination. During the Middle Ages, Perugia had a very important role in Italian history because it guaranteed the continuity of the Byzantine corridor controlling the roads that connected Ravenna to Rome. Perugia undertook various battles with the surrounding Longobard territories of Spoleto, Arezzo and Siena. In this period Perugia reached its highest development and many historical buildings and important roads belong to this period: Priori Palace, Saint Peter's Church   (containing important frescoes), the Cathedral , The Maggiore Fountain, Volte road (via delle volte), Corso Vannucci (the main road of the town). In year 1306, it also gave birth to one of the oldest universities in Italy.  

In 1553 Perugia went under the domination of Pope Paul III who built the fortress Rocca Paolina which can still be visited.

Perugia today is a lively town; it has a famous university for foreigners and is the centre of a famous international Jazz festival.  In addition to the monuments already mentioned, tourists can also visit Saint Angelo Church built in the V century, the Oratory of Saint Bernardino, San Domenico Church, the Collegio di Cambio with frescoes by Perugino, the magnificent Sala dei Notari, the Capitano del Popolo palace and the medieval aqueduct.

Perugia is entirely built on ancient ruins and new archaeological treasures are continuously being discovered.  Recently, local authorities have opened a new underground route to visit these ruins.




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