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Report 834: There's No Such Thing as Too Much...Pasta and Ceramics

By Palma from California, Fall 2005

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Page 12 of 23: Thursday, September 15: Perugia

photo by Brad

Chocolate Tortas

We packed up the car again and took last minute pictures of Amorosa. It is a difficult place to leave, but we were excited about visiting the new-to-us area of Umbria. We drove towards Perugia taking a longer, scenic route around Lake Trasimeno. It took two hours with one quick bathroom/smoke stop to get to our new accommodation, Villa Montesolare. It seems lovely, if a little out of the way. Our room is one of four in a rose-arbored garden section with a nice terrace and a great view. We checked in, got organized and took off for Perugia. We arrived at 1:30 and began my “escalator trauma”. I had read about Perugia in my many Italy books before our trip and knew about the escalators from the parking lot to the main street of the upper town, but I ASSUMED there would also be either an elevator or stairs available. For years, I have had an escalator “phobia” as I get dizzy even LOOKING at an escalator. This has never been a problem when traveling (except at the Milan train station, but they at least had stairs!) My sweet husband took the first eight or nine sets of stairs with me, alongside Jan and Les on the escalator. When we arrived at the last escalator, THERE WERE NO MORE STAIRS! My choices were to go back down and wait for them to see Perugia without me, or to bite the bullet and get on the escalator. (Wish I had asked about this on Slowtrav BEFORE we left…) So when there was a lull in people I took my jelly legs (from the stairs) and shakily stepped on, clutching Brad and the handrail and deciding I hated Perugia. I made it to the top, trying to breathe and not cry.

We found a lovely garden restaurant in the first block and stopped for lunch. When I saw there was a taxi stand and found I could take a taxi down to the parking lot entrance, I relaxed and enjoyed my lunch. I had fried mozzarella and zucchini blossoms, and several cups of coffee. We walked to the fountain and duomo until the Furla store opened and I treated myself to two great purses (one on sale for half price)! We did not get to the museum, and we weren’t there long enough to get a positive sense of the city, although the views were gorgeous from the upper city walls, but none of us found much charm in Perugia. We saw many students, and were not there after dark, but I finally found a city I like less than Siena, and have little desire to return to. I would go back to Siena for a fourth time if I could see a Palio.

We stopped at the beautiful bakery and bought a fabulous torta to share tomorrow at dinner for our anniversary, and of course, some chocolate for Brad. We took a taxi for 5E (and a 3E tip, I was so grateful to escape the escalators) and met Jan and Les at the car. We were back at the hotel by six and relaxed until dinner. We met for a glass of wine on the patio and went to dinner in the hotel’s restaurant with their price fixed dinner. Tonight’s menu was rollotini with endive and copa, papardelle with a beef sauce, roast veal with vreamed potatoes, and ricotta cheesecake in a vanilla broth. We drank an Orvieto Sauvignon Blanc. We had coffee/grappa on the patio and I was asleep by 10:30 (my earliest night in Italy…must have been pooped from the escalator ordeal!).

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