A PERFECT DAY IN PERUGIA

The Italian home of art, culture and chocolates, Perugia has much to discover. The capital city of the Umbria region is rich in history and sightseeing. Yet many of its best attractions can be seen in a day. So, what does a one-day trip to Perugia look like? Keep reading to find out.

Start the morning

No morning in Italy is complete without an Italian espresso, so start the day with one at one of Perugia’s many cafes. Try family-run cafe Sandri dal 1860 and admire its Art Deco design with your coffee. There’s a marble bar and gilded mirror, and the cakes and pastries are works of art too.

Once you’ve had your fill, you’re ready to explore. The aqueduct is a great place to start, so stroll through the former water passage. It’s on Via dell’Acquedotto, which means simply Street of the Aqueduct.

Next, go to the University of Perugia, an ancient center of learning, dating back to the early 14th century. There’s also the University for Foreigners, founded in 1926. Here students learn about Italian history and culture, as well as the language.

You can also visit the National Art Gallery. Among other things the native textiles of the Umbrian region are on display. It’s heaven for both lovers of art and history, since many of the objects are centuries old. Many come from Italian churches, so there are altarpieces, frescoes, and crucifixes as well as paintings by the Italian masters.

Before there were a grand total of 70 towers in Perugia. Now there’s just one left, the Sciri Tower. It stands a whopping 42 meters (138 feet) high. Climbing all the way to the top means you’ve worked up an appetite, so it’s time to eat.

In addition to its towers, Perugia is also well known for Baci Perugina chocolates. Baci means kiss, and you’ll be sure to feel the love from the minute you get near to the factory where they are made and smell the chocolate. Each of these treats is mixed with hazelnut and are immediately recognizable for their blue and silver wrappers. What’s even better is that each has a love note inside.

Baci has both a museum and the Perugina Casa del Cioccolato (the chocolate factory). Even the most jaded traveler will feel like a child again after a visit here. There are samples of the chocolate given out with a tour, so come with an empty stomach. If you’re not a fan of chocolate, Perugia has plenty of places where you can try a gelato instead.

A Perugian sunset

If you are still stuffed from all that chocolate and can’t manage a full meal, an aperitivo is the perfect snack. This Italian tradition is a drink — usually Aperol spritz — served with small bites. If you want to see the entire region laid out before you, take a trip before dinner to watch the sun go down at the Porta Sole, an observation deck.