After only four days in the region, I was already enraptured with Umbria. I had meandered through the quiet alleys in Assisi, explored Isola Maggiore on Lake Trasimeno, strolled in the green and peaceful countryside and – all along – enjoyed delicious traditional food.
I loved it. And I wanted more.
Umbria is definitely one of those places that make you wish you had more time. On the morning I was supposed to leave, I felt like a kid who wants to stay and play a little longer.
So I did. I left my car at the hotel and went off with my camera to explore the city of Perugia. That moment – when I set off on my own, not completely sure of where I’m going and with no idea of what to expect – is one of my favourites. I had a map, my camera, a beautiful sunny day and a new city to explore – I couldn’t ask for more.
I walked to the closest Minimetrò station (Case Bruciate) and took the cable car to the upper part of the city. I knew I could only stay for a few hours but had no intention to rush it. I had no monuments or must-sees I wanted to cross off a list before leaving: my only plan was to walk around at random, take photos and see for myself how the city was like. I took it slow, enjoying the April sun and pretending I had all the time in the world.
That soon proved to be the right approach. In Perugia you can’t just focus on the must-sees because the whole city is worthy of attention. Every steep narrow alley, every staircase, every medieval arch, every piazza has so much character and charm that it’s just as interesting and beautiful as the majestic Palazzo dei Priori. In Perugia, you have to take it slow. That’s how you notice the small details, linger on the passing smiles, catch the different languages and accents. That’s how you notice the flowerpots adorning the windowsills, the different kinds of stone walls, the lantern-like street lamps and the trees popping up where you least expect them. You notice how newer buildings blend in nicely with the old ones, leaving you with the feeling of walking in a modern city that has been there for centuries.
Almost every corner of the pedestrian city centre calls for a photograph. After four hours of such wandering and photographic bliss, I literally had to force myself to head back to the hotel.
Sure time wasn’t enough. Perugia deserves better.
Yet, sometimes, four hours are enough to fall in love. Sometimes, four hours are enough to make you promise you’ll be back.
Date of travel: 25th April 2012
I travelled to Umbria to attend the TBU conference and had the pleasure of joining one of the post-conference trips organized by the Region of Umbria in cooperation with Umbria on the Blog. This short visit to Perugia, though, was a personal
whim choice. Regardless – as always on this site – views and opinions are mine and mine only. Please note that so are the photographs. Finally, should you be interested in retracing my steps (yes, you stalker), you can view my itinerary on Google Maps.