|Piazza in front of the Duomo in Perugia; the fountain, Fontana Maggiore, is decorated with dozens of carved stone figures|
|View of Perugia from our room at the Castello di Monterone|
|Perugia Duomo, Dedicated to San Lorenzo, was built in the 15th Century|
|Adoration of the Magi by Perugino (1450-1523)|
|Etruscan boundary stone, Cippus Perusinus|
Our ticket to the art museum also got us into several other museums in Perugia, so after a cup of strong Italian coffee (sipped under an umbrella since it was still raining) we made our way down the hill to the archeology museum which is filled with ancient Roman ruins, prehistoric tools and artifacts, and a tablet with the oldest known example of Etruscan writing.
|Chocolate samples at Perugina factory|
Perugia is known as the chocolate capital of Italy and we passed numerous chocolate shops as we walked along the streets. Later, at the end of the week, we went to the Perugina chocolate factory (owned now by Nestle), located in the industrial part of Perugia and home of the famous Baci candies. We went for a tour, chocolate tasting and visit to the Museum of Chocolate. Thousands of chocolate candies are produced every day in the plant. We toured from a catwalk above the factory floor and watched them move along conveyor belts in various stages of completion. I only realized after the tour that the name Baci means “kisses” in Italian. Inside the wrapper of each Baci is a love note! Not surprisingly, the busiest time of year at the factory is Valentine’s Day.
|Entrance to the hill town of Deruta|
Umbria is also famous for its majolica pottery and the center for that is the hill town of Deruta, about a half hour's drive from Perugia. That was our destination the next day, and again, we parked our car at the bottom of the hill. But this time there were no escalators, so we walked the steep paths to the top where a broad piazza surrounds a modest church and a museum of ceramics. However, it was Monday, when most museums are closed, so we didn’t have a chance to visit. Instead we explored the many shops and bought a small bowl as a souvenir.
We then returned to the hotel to relax and for dinner in the excellent hotel restaurant, Gradale. Our plan for the following day was an excursion to Lake Trasimeno. (To be continued next week.)
|Sunset over Perugia|