Where do I begin to list the things that I love about Perugia? Since I arrived here on Saturday (in some shame, after the unpleasantness in Montefalco) I've cheered myself up with some great GROM gelato, drank a fair amount of grechetto and limoncello, eaten some really great food, and seen some wonderful art.
I've also found myself trotting up and down that damned acqueduct more times than I would have thought possible! In fact, I'm beginning to realize that this structure is actually an important link between the upper reaches of the historic centre and the university district, and not just a way for visitors to burn calories!
Really, Perugia is so impressive in the way that it has incorporated medieval and even ancient structures into modern life. This acqueduct is a good example. Built in 1254, it originally stretched for approximately five kilometres and was designed to bring water from Monte Pacciano to Piazza Grande, the medieval square that is now called Piazza IV Novembre (and rests between the cathedral and Palazzo dei Priori.)
Very early in the 19th century, a new acqueduct was constructed and the last stretch of the medieval structure became a popular walk, with a terraced footpath above the huge arches of the original structure.
Another example is Perugia's Rocca Paolina, which shows an interesting layer of medieval Perugia. The city has not just preserved this historic area but indeed, has turned it into a kind of working museum by running through it a system of escalators that link old and modern parts of the city. To use these escalators, visitors and residents must cut through the remains of a medieval neighborhood which was razed to construct the Rocca Paolina, once a fortress lording it over Perugians more than 500 years ago.
I've actually had to keep moving at a pretty fast clip in the last three days since my arrival, because the weather has been quite cool and I need to move to keep from getting chilled. Women here are already wearing their winter best, but I refuse to give in (it is only mid-September and there will be plenty of time to wear the puffy coats, fashion boots and hats.)
But the cool weather has made it a challenge to take full advantage of the little balcony off my hotel room, so I keep a bottle of limoncello in my room to help fight off dangerous chills. (No photo available.)