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Report 472: Back to Uni to Learn Italian - A Month in Perugia

By Pamela R from Sydney, Australia, Fall 1998

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Page 18 of 31: Friday 18th September

We both left our respective classes early to catch the No. 2 bus from Piazza Fortebraccio to the station. We were in plenty of time for Margaret’s train, which in fact didn’t arrive till 1.15.

Margaret was looking fit and well despite her long trip and we were soon sitting on a No. 15C bus as it wound up through the lush slopes towards Piazza Italia, from where it was only a short level walk to her hotel. Of course we needed to stop on the way for a welcome drink in Piazza Repubblica – the place to be seen in Perugia. We thought a few people noticed us!

The Hotel Priori, in the street of the same name, was very pleasant, with a nice outdoor terrace for breakfast when weather permitted. Margaret’s room was small but perfectly formed with the necessary basic facilities. It had a shuttered window overlooking the street, but apparently the traffic noise (even though only pedestrian) proved a bit of a problem for sleeping. However it was well situated, just a few paces down from Corso Vannucci.

We wandered around the immediate vicinity while Margaret showered and refreshed herself after the journey, then we all walked back via our apartment and explored Corso Garibaldi, at the end of which is the Chiesa di Sant’Angelo. This beautiful simple round building, set back in a pleasant garden just behind the 14th century town walls and beside Porta Sant’Angelo, stands on the site of an ancient temple, with antique columns inside, which were taken from earlier buildings. The atmosphere inside was very tranquil and outside lots of people were sitting around on the lawn and enjoying the sunny afternoon.

We ambled back along the Corso, cutting through before we reached the end, down to Via Sant’Elizabetta, below Via dell’Acquedotto, where we found the Mosaico Romano – easy to miss as it is subterranean and behind the dusty windows of a University of Perugia campus building. It was an amazing sight, beautiful black and white animal mosaics over quite a large area which had been partially exposed. Unfortunately it appeared rather neglected for such a valuable site and it was extremely dirty with little protection around it. Students bustled past with hardly a glance, while we viewed it with some awe.

Across the road was a shop selling the most bizarre shoes we’d ever seen. Margaret had a look but decided to save her money for something along more classical lines.

We walked back to Pizza Etrusca where we’d arranged to have a beer with Debbie and Roland, which turned into several before they had to go. We stayed on and had pizzas before taking Margaret back to Priori, after making plans for a trip to Lago Trasimeno tomorrow.

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