Italy 2005 ~ Two More Days in Perugia

Wednesday, June 15th

Wednesday morning I awoke to thunder and pouring rain! I watched a bit of an old Sophia Loren movie on TV and then went down to breakfast. Here at Hotel Fortuna, the breakfast is again a large buffet with many different choices including cheese, meats, pastries, yogurt, fruits, etc. I have been eating these wonderful chocolate filled pastries.

Last night, I found the COOP, a medium size grocery store, where I bought my favorite coconut yogurt. I ate the yogurt along with my pastry and an espresso macchiato for breakfast.

Once the rain stopped, I headed out for the day. The weather still did not look too promising and it was quite cold outside. The temperature displayed above a bank was 17 (62-63) at 11:30 am.

I stopped for an espresso in a very beautiful bar where they sell very fancy pastries. It was very crowded with mostly local people.

Italy Trip 2005, Perugia, ItalyItaly Trip 2005, Perugia, Italy

After my espresso, I went in search of a libreria (book store). On my way (by the main post office), I saw many large police vans, a couple of people with TV cameras, and a female police officer directing traffic, not allowing anyone to park nearby. I watched for a bit to see if anything would occur.

Italy Trip 2005, Perugia, ItalyItaly Trip 2005, Perugia, Italy

I lost interest after a while and continued to explore Perugia as the rain had stopped.

Once the rain started again, I went in some shops, spent some time inside a bookstore I finally found, stopped for a gelato, and then went back to my hotel.

For dinner, I ate at Ristorante da Giancarlo, a restaurant I would not recommend.

Thursday, June 16th

Thursday morning I slept in and then decided to go down to breakfast before getting ready to go out for the day. I must have been extra tired because after walking out the door, I realized that I had the remote control in my hand and NOT the key to the door in my hand!

I stood for a moment in disbelief and then went down to the desk to explain what had happened and to ask if someone could please let me back into my room. Luckily everyone at the desk thought it was quite amusing and one of the maids followed me back to my room to let me in.

Finally a warm sunny day! After breakfast, I wandered around Perugia and visited a couple of museums. I headed toward this old church at the edge of the city called San Pietro that I wanted to visit. Along the way, I wandered through the ancient city once more using the Scala Mobile.

The church of San Pietro was at the end of Corso Cavour, the name of a street you will find in most towns in Italy. There is a beautiful door at the entrance of the church and a peaceful garden outside with beautiful views of the countryside.

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After spending time looking in some shops on Corso Cavour, I went back to the centro to have lunch. I ate at the same restaurant (da Cesarino) to have the rigatoni estivi meal that I had a quick taste of my first night in Perugia (before the waiter brought me my ravioli dish). It was wonderful!

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I ate outside and sat next to an older man and his son who seemed to be in his twenties. He ordered a big bottle of white wine and offered me a glass. We had a nice chat while eating lunch. The restaurant was filled with both locals and tourists and it was one of those places where it was very difficult to get the check.

After lunch, I visited the Galleria Nazionale Museo, a very large, interesting museum with many important paintings of Umbria.

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Italy Trip 2005, Perugia, Italy

When I finished walking through the museum, I once again tried to find the Galleria Kennedy, a long dotted line which went across the center on the map that I had. All along, I thought the Galleria was this big shopping mall that went under the city. I remembered that in Milano there was a famous little place with lots of bars and shops called the Galleria.

I went to one side of the city to try to find the entrance with no luck and then walked to the other side to again try to find the entrance and again no luck. The next day while on the train, I asked the woman I sat with about the Galleria and she told me it was a tunnel for cars!

Although my search came up empty, I did see many wonderful sights along the way that I may not have seen if I had not gone in search for the mysterious Galleria. Here are more pictures from my last day in Perugia.

Before dinner, I walked back toward San Pietro to go to the Museo Acheologico Nazionale Museo, a very interesting museum of old archeological remnants. I ate at the wonderful pizzeria near my hotel again for dinner and then went back to my room to pack.

Before dinner, I walked back toward San Pietro to go to the Museo Acheologico Nazionale Museo, a very interesting museum of old archeological remnants. I ate at the wonderful pizzeria near my hotel again for dinner and then went back to my room to pack.

Thoughts on my stay in Perugia: I was very surprised at how much I liked this place! I get lost very easily and was a little worried with all I had heard about the street layout in Perugia, but I never had a problem finding my way around and felt completely comfortable there. There are tons of stores to visit, a COOP which is handy, many internet spots, lots of things to see, easy transportation options, and good food.

I have mixed feelings about Hotel Fortuna in Perugia. The location was great. There was one crabby person working at the desk, but everyone else was very friendly and helpful (so overall no huge complaints there). My room was just ok (on the tiny size). The worst thing though was that my clothes all ended up smelling like smoke from the closet. I did not discover this until I unpacked my clothing at my next location. If I had known, I probably would have tried to switch rooms or keep my clothes in my suitcase. I’m not sure if I would stay at this hotel again. 

Umbria Overall:  I enjoyed my week in Umbria. Lots of possibilities for day trips. Beautiful hill towns to explore with amazing views. There is also a lot to do in Perugia. I found Umbria not as touristy as Tuscany. The people were very friendly (especially in the small towns)! It was nice to hear so much Italian in Umbria. I did not encounter too many tourists in anyplace I visited. I can just imagine what it would be like spending a week in Umbria when the sunflowers are in bloom!

I still love Tuscany more than Umbria though…not really sure why. Perhaps it’s because of my stays in Siena studying Italian and the memories I have of my visits to all the hill towns nearby? I also think I like the food a little better in Tuscany, although I found many excellent places to eat in Umbria.

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