Perugia

Perugia Pictorial

This year we went on a 3 week trip of Italy. The first week we spent in Tuscany and the last 2 weeks at our home in Campania. Tuscany is beautiful with many old mountain towns to be explored. Too many for one trip so we will be back.

We started on an overnight flight from Philadelphia to Rome. Landing Friday morning we started our trek to Tuscany in our rental car. Perugia was our first stop. This is a beautiful city on different levels that was made famous by Perugia chocolates. It is in the Province of Umbria, region of Perugia. It has a population of about 168,000 people.

The city center is small with very narrow streets. You can only drive in if you have a hotel stay in the center. Beware that the driving is not for the faint at heart. There is a very large parking garage outside the city central with easy access. From the garage you can take a series of escalators up to the old town. The escalators run up so you will have to carry your suitcases down or take the streets.

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Our small hotel in the center

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Very narrow streets

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The Piazza in the center

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Part of the Piazza

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View from the center

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One road up to the center

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Lunch in the Piazza

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Small streets

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More small streets

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Entrance to City Center

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Plunger to block traffic

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Your hotel can lower it so you can pass in

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Street to hotel – Watch your rearview mirrors

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Hotel breakfast – Cornetti

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Dinner in a beautiful Restorante

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Parking Italian style

Perugia is a wonderful, romantic town. Walk all the streets of the center center and enjoy. Stop at a candy store and enjoy some Perugia chocolates. Nearby towns include Assisi, Cortona, Montepulciano and Siena.

Buon viaggio (Have a good trip)!

George & Jo Anne

Categories: cornetto, Driving in Italy, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Perugia, Perugina Chocolate, Small Towns, Tuscany | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why do Americans Love Italy?

Why do so many Americans vacation in Italy and buy homes there? There is a love affair going on between America and Italy. Maybe it’s that we have so many Italians in America and even more Italian restaurants that it feels familiar. I think it goes deeper than that. Italy has obvious charm:

  1. Old cities with buildings we can’t see in America
  2. Famous places we read about
  3. Clean beaches
  4. Majestic mountains
  5. Walled mountain top cities that are so unique to us
  6. Cities like Venice that are unbelievable
  7. Food that is so much better than anything we get back home
  8. Cheap table wine that rivals the best of wines
  9. Italians love for life
  10. Italians love for Americans

Is it any wonder we love Italy? Where else can you get people who love us, food that is the best, wine that is superb and views that rival any other place? Italy is unique. It was created by violent earthquakes and volcanoes millions of years ago. Today it is a pl;ace artist go to see the wonders of nature. Even places like Vesuvius, a still very active volcano, attracts us like a moth to the flame.

Is it any wonder we look to visits this country over and over again? The views take our breath away. We want a piece of it. If you haven’t yet been to Italy, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Go and see the major cities: Rome, Florence, Naples, Venice and Milan. See smaller cities like Capri, Positano, Amalfi, Verona (Romeo & Juliet). Get off the beaten path and see small walled cities with fantastic views. Experience chocolate in Perugia (home of Perugina chocolates – Baci). Go to Assisi and Siena and our favorite San Gimignano.  Don’t miss Tuscany, Orvieto and Pompeii.

Many towns, such as San Gimignano, were enclos...

Many towns, such as San Gimignano, were enclosed with walls, causing crowding and the building of tower houses. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italy has so much to offer it would take a life time to see it all. So don’t wait, get started on your adventure. Be adventuresome, be romantic and enjoy your life.

George & Jo Anne

Categories: Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Beaches, Chocolate, Eating Italian, Europe, Florence, Food, General Travel, Italy, Milan, Mount Vesuvious, Mountain Towns, Naples, Owning a home in Italy, Perugia, Perugina Chocolate, Pompeii, Positano, Romance, Rome, San Gimignano, Small Towns, Tuscany, Venice, Verona, Vesuvius, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Italy Anew

We are back from nearly a month in Italy. We spent a week Plus in Tuscany and two weeks plus at our home in Campania. In Campania we visited several old mountain and beach towns. Some we had already been too and others were new.

Let’s start in Tuscany. Our first stop was Perugia. This is chocolate town in Italy. It is the home of Perugina chocolates. The town is ancient with very small roads that barely permit a car to pass. We used GPS to navigate to our hotel, Fortuna. Getting into the old section was easy but we were on a one way street an a giant cylinder blocked are way.

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After some difficulty we discovered a button that calls the hotel on the wall. After identifying ourselves, the cylinder was lowered so we could drive very carefully down this small narrow street. After unloading the luggage and checking in, we had to move the car to a parking lot. We chose to go to a lot outside the old city. The trip back and lowering the cylinder was easy. Next we turned onto an even narrower street. From here we had to make an impossible left turn on a street that we had to move the mirrors in to fit. At this point we were ready for some wine! Lots of wine …

We got the car down to the parking area and took several sets of underground escalators back up to the old city. Like many Italian towns there was a large and small piazza. The small one had an incredible view out over the hills of Tuscany.

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Perugia is a series of very small roads (paths) off each Piazza.

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Finally after touring Perugia and eating some chocolate we found an outdoor cafe in the piazza for some much need wine.

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You are calm and feel good in Perugia (other than the initial driving). We had excellent free wifi at our hotel and a wonderful breakfast.

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You are part of an ancient medieval scene. Enjoy … Tomorrow we will take you to Assisi.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Assisi, Cafè, Campania, General Travel, GPS, Italy, Perugia, Perugina Chocolate, Sweets, Tuscany, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What to see in Italy?

Italy has unending beauty and places to visit. Do your homework and pick places that have an interest to you. Rail Europe lists the top ten cities to visit in Italy in reverse order:

10. Ventimiglia

Many people hop between the neighboring border towns of Nice and Ventimiglia with a train ticket. A trip so close, and made even easier with a France-Italy Rail Pass. You’ll find both French and Italian regional lines service Ventimiglia. More than a train hub, Ventimiglia has a stunning, quintessentially Italian medieval city center. As it always has, its classic architecture stands guard on a hilltop over the Gulf of Genoa, but now with the new city between them. Make sure you visit Ventimiglia’s famous Friday Outdoor Market!

9. Bologna

Why not visit the oldest university in the world, the University of Bologna, founded in 1088? Naturally, there’s plenty to study: from medieval, renaissance and baroque monuments to modern-day industrial marvels like Ducati, headquartered there. More high-speed thrills? Travel by train from Bologna to Verona in just under an hour.

8. Verona

What do you call a city dramatic enough to be the setting of three Shakespearean plays, and interesting enough to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site? This is Verona. Along the Adige River, this picture-perfect city of cobblestone streets lined with medieval buildings, Roman sites and churches is second to none for inspiration. Known for its pink buildings and Juliet balcony (yes, one of those plays was Romeo and Juliet), a visit to this city will immerse you in the classic Italian experience. Want more inspiration? Venice is one of the perfect destinations for it. Verona to Venice is about an hour by train.

7. La Spezia

Located on the Gulf of La Spezia, this port city is a bustling mix of old and new. This scenic waterfront is perfect for arrival by train from Verona (via Milan) with a Eurail Italy Pass. Today, this modern-day port stands in stunning contrast to the spectacle of its antiquity and charm. So much charm that many poets have found inspiration here, from Byron to Shelley to DH Lawrence. It is, in fact, referred to as “the Gulf of Poets.” What will it inspire in you?

6. Turin

Baroque architecture with the Alps as the ultimate photo backdrop. Site of the 2006 winter games. And, of course, the Shroud of Turin. The amazing city of Turin is one of contrasts that include a café society of truffles, wine and other extravagances, and Turin Cathedral, home to the Shroud of Turin. (Please note that while The Museum of the Holy Shroud is open daily, the shroud is only displayed once every ten years.) Next stop? Milan. Aboard Frecciarossa trains, Turin to Milan is just about an hour’s journey.

5. Milan

High style all around. The Italian center of finance, industry and commerce, as well as a global capital of fashion, industrial design and architecture. Milan is also the home of “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Don’t miss the spectacular Duomo, which took over 6 centuries to complete. (And don’t forget to get your Milano Card for easy transportation and discounts all over town.) Also, remember it’s just as easy to arrive from Paris to Milan by the high-speed TGV trains.

4. Naples

The birthplace of pizza has drawn many hungry visitors, including those hungry for culture: its historic center is the largest in Europe, covering over 4,000 acres and 27 centuries. It’s almost unreal how much this port city has to offer — including hydrofoils to the Isle of Capri and the Blue Grotto. Naples is a must-see for every history/arts/culinary/naval/political/cinema-buff. And so is Venice. Naples to Venice is about a 4 hours and 45 minutes journey by train.

3. Venice

Venice, the land of gondola-filled canals, ancient trades and water taxis. Enjoy a Grand Canal boat tour and views that have remained basically unchanged for centuries. See how Venetian glass and Venetian paper is made. Shop on the Rialto and along the waterways to roving (and rowing) tenors, as well as the occasional accordion. There is only one Venice, so how could it be #3?

2. Florence

Florence is Italian perfection: the Duomo, the Uffizi Museum Tour, crossing the Arno River on the Ponte Vecchio, the Pitti Palace… everything that makes Italy, Italy, is here in the appropriately titled “cradle of the Renaissance”– except you! You’re not here yet, and nothing makes it easier to get here than the train. On Italo trains, Venice to Florence is about a 2 hours trip, while Florence to Rome is an about 1 hour and 30 minutes of relaxing, stress-free enjoyment. Which is perfect since…

1. Rome

Well, the saying is “all roads lead to Rome”. Fortunately, so do the trains! Travel from Vienna, Innsbruck or Munich to Rome via direct overnight trains. All those “Roman ruins” around Europe, why not visit their birthplace? And where else can you see the Colosseum? Classical architecture buffs will enjoy researching the arch, the dome, and the vault—all developed here. Of course, a Vatican Sistine Chapel Tour is guaranteed to provide a most divine experience. This is it people. This is where the world changed. And when you visit, well, it can change your world too.

We also add:

  1. Capri
  2. Positano
  3. Paestum
  4. Cinque Terre (5 cities)
  5. Siena
  6. Assisi
  7. Perugia
  8. San Gimignano
  9. Matera
  10. Bari
  11. Agropoli (old city)
  12. Castellabate
  13. Amalfi
  14. Sorrento
  15. Orvieto
  16. Pompeii

There are so many interesting places in Italy to enjoy!

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Bari, Campania, Capri, Castellabate, Europe, Italy, Milan, Mountain Towns, Naples, Orvieto, Paestum, Perugia, Pompeii, Positano, Regions of Italy, Rome, San Gimignano, Siena, Small Towns, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Venice, Verona | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Perugia, Italy

Perugia is a special city. It is home to Perugina chocolates. They are best known for their Bacci (Kiss) chocolate. The chocolate factory (with tours and tastings) is just outside the city. The city itself is medieval. What a charming place to stroll. Imagine walking on the same small walkways as people did during the medieval period. There are old squares, churches, Castles and fortresses.

Perugia

This is a great town to spend a night or two and go back in time. It is a very romantic place to spend some time. Imagine peaceful walks on old narrow streets, eating in a small trattoria, having some Perugina chocolates, sipping some local wine. Eat a Perugina back (kiss) then kiss someone special. Are you ready to go?

Perugia is near Assisi and Cortonia (where Under the Tuscan Sun took place and the real Frances Mayes home is). It is also not a long drive from Siena or Florence.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Chocolate, Cortona, Florence, Gelato, General Travel, Italy, Perugia, Perugina Chocolate, Romance, Siena, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Assisi, Italy

Assisi is a beautiful small town on the eastern side of Italy. It is very close to Perugia the chocolate town that is home to Perugina. Assisi is known as the birth place of Saint Francis. St. Francis is known because as the son of a rich man, he gave up all his worldly possessions and lived in the forest. He later founded the Franciscan Monks.

Assisi is home to the cathedral of Saint Francis at one end and a typical small city center at the other end of the town. You can easily walk around this city. Driving in the center is restricted but you can park in lots outside the center and walk in. The church is actually two churches, one on top of the other. Visit Saint Francis’ grave. Walk around the church complex and visit inside each church. Then walk to the city center and enjoy a caffè, gelato, Panini (sandwich) or lunch at a trattoria.

The church is built on a hill and the surrounding countryside and mountains are beautiful. This is a special place to be enjoyed and o relax in.

Assisi

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Cafè, Chocolate, Europe, Gelato, General Travel, Italy, Mountain Towns, Perugia, Small Towns | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Italian Dark Chocolate

OK, we have our white truffles and wine but there are two other great desserts (dolce) to taste in Italy. The first is fine chocolate and the second Italian Gelato. Today we will focus on the fine chocolate. Most Americans know about Perugina Baci. These are the Italian version of a chocolate kiss. They are made with real dark chocolate and hazelnuts. Inside the wrapper with the chocolate kiss is a paper with a proverb on it. We have always enjoyed Perugina. If you are in Tuscany near Assisi where Saint Frances’ Cathedral is located, stop in Perugia. Perugia is home to Perugina chocolates. It is located just outside the city and has a tour of the factory. You can, of course, taste the chocolates. Perugia is a great small town to visit as well.

Baci

As you travel the Italian countryside, you will find small towns with chocolate shops. These shops have people who make their own homemade chocolates. Most will give you a sample to try. This chocolate is totally fresh and without preservatives. Pop one into your mouth. Hold it on your tongue and let the rich dark chocolate melt. The sensation is very sensual. Now chew it and enjoy the tastes. Dark chocolate is healthy and enjoyable.

Europeans use much less sugar than we do here in the States. Our sweets have become too sweet. Sugar is addictive and the food industry knows it. In Italy things have a little sugar but it’s not overpowering. Enjoy the other flavors in the candy. We find that American milk chocolate actually hurts your teeth because of the sugar content. The Italian chocolate never hurts.

Now you know how to enjoy a day. Start by having a meal with white truffles (in season). Maybe a pasta dish. Enjoy the flavors with a glass of local wine. Stop by at a chocolate shop and enjoy a small piece of chocolate. Tomorrow we will cap the day off with some gelato.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Chocolate, Dolce, Europe, Gelato, Italy, Perugia, Sweets, Truffles, White Truffles, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why America Loves Italy

Why do so many Americans vacation in Italy and buy homes there? There is a love affair going on between America and Italy. Maybe it’s that we have so many Italians in America and even more Italian restaurants that it feels familiar. I think it goes deeper than that. Italy has obvious charm:

  1. Old cities with buildings we can’t see in America
  2. Famous places we read about
  3. Clean beaches
  4. Majestic mountains
  5. Walled mountain top cities that are so unique to us
  6. Cities like Venice that are unbelievable
  7. Food that is so much better than anything we get back home
  8. Cheap table wine that rivals the best of wines
  9. Italians love for life
  10. Italians love for Americans

Is it any wonder we look to visits this country over and over again? The views take our breath away. We want a piece of it. If you haven’;t yet been to Italy, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Go and see the major cities: Rome, Florence, Naples, Venice and Milan. See smaller cities like Capri, Positano, Amalfi, Verona (Romeo & Juliet). Get off the beaten path and see small walled cities with fantastic views. Experience chocolate in Perugia (home of Perugina chocolates – Baci). Go to Assisi and Siena and my favorite San Gimignano.  Don’t miss Tuscany,

Many towns, such as San Gimignano, were enclos...

Many towns, such as San Gimignano, were enclosed with walls, causing crowding and the building of tower houses. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Orvieto and Pompeii.

Italy has so much to offer it would take a life time to see it all. So don’t wait, get started on your adventure.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Amalfi Coast, Campania, Capri, Chocolate, Eating Italian, Europe, Florence, General Travel, Italy, Milan, Naples, Orvieto, Perugia, Positano, Rome, San Gimignano, Tuscany, Venice | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Last BLOG in series on Perugia Chocolate

English: View on Perugia, Italy and the Church...

English: View on Perugia, Italy and the Church of San Spirito (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kace has a BLOG and wonderful pictures of Perugia, Italy and its wonderful chocolate. This is a place not to be missed. It is in Umbria and is an easy drive and very scenic from Orvieto, Florence, Siena or Rome. If you hate chocolate this is not a city for you but for everyone else go and enjoy.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Chocolate, Cooking, Eating Italian, Europe, Italy, Perugia, Umbria | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Chocolate …

Baci by Perugina

Baci by Perugina (Photo credit: just_jeanette)

Yesterday I BLOGed on Perugina Chocolates from Perugia, Italy. Today we look at the factory tour of Perugina Chocolate. Wanderingpalete BLOG talks of a tour and how wonderful the chocolate was. If you are visiting the Tuscany or Umbria regions of Italy don’t miss this wonderful city and its world-famous chocolate. Click here for tour costs and information. Chocolate is loved around the world!

 

Categories: Chocolate, Eating Italian, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Perugia, Tuscany, Umbria | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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