Monday, February 28, 2011

Assisi and Perugia in Umbria, Italy

If you are searching for a European traveler destination, consider the cities of Perugia and Assisi within the landlocked region of Umbria in central Italy. Depending on your interests, this beautiful district might be an ideal retreat spot. You can acquire typical Italian food and wash it down with fine local wine. These cities are certainly not undiscovered, however that shouldn't bar you from exploring.

The city of Perugia is the hub of Umbria furthermore a top quality artistic hub. This picturesque medieval hilltop town of about 160 thousand people is almost untouched. It is rather a meeting place of Italian foreign language schools as well as the Foreigners University that houses more than 8,000 students. This campus is within comfortable walking distance of most of Perugia's traveler tourist attractions however you almost certainly won't like to walk from the train station spot in the periphery.

You may begin your travel at the fairly plain Duomo, Cathedral of San Lorenzo, dating to the end of the Fifteenth century. Actually a house of worship has been on this spot as far back as the mid-Eleventh Century. You may wish to see a ring thought to be the Virgin Mary's marriage ring which was stolen from a close by city. Don't be amazed that the ring is protected by more than a dozen locks. Of course there's heaps more to witness in the Church. The Duomo is precisely lying on the main square of the city, Piazza IV Novembre.

Move on to Palazzo dei Priori, a Thirteenth Century building that became the center of foreign trade. Make sure to visit the frescoes, including some by Perugia's number one Renaissance painter Pietro Vannucci. You possibly have not heard of Vannucci, although are probably familiar with one of his students, Raffaello Sanzio also known as Raphael. They utter that Raphael one time painted here. Most of this Palazzo now serves as the city hall and is closed to the public. This palace's fourth ground houses the Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria dedicated to Umbrian art ranging from the Thirteenth to the Nineteenth Centuries. Be certain to stroll down the Corso Vannucci from the Piazza IV Novembre to the Piazza d'Italia at nightfall prior to going for an aperitif and supper.

Our final stopover is a bit further away. It's the National Archeological Musem which has a brilliant compilation of Etruscan artifacts. Just in case you don't reminisce your Italian history, the Etruscans lined this section of the world until the Romans subjugated them more than 2300 years ago. Furthermore don't let pass the San Domenico cathedral next door.

Music lovers will unearth a lot to hear in and in close proximity of Perugia. In late August and early September for two weeks there's the International Chamber Music Festival in Citta di Castello almost 50 miles north of the capital. In September, for ten days Perugia accommodates the Sagra Musicale Umbra devoted to traditional Umbrian music. But the most famous music event is the Umbria Jazz Festival for 10 days in July. As a sugary note, the third week of October is the Eurochocolate Festival.

Assisi is a walled settlement roughly 16 miles east of Perugia. This picturesque medieval town is one of the mainly essential Christian pilgrimage sites. Don't even consider bringing a car here! This township honors St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of Italy and also founder of the Franciscan order.

Begin your excursion external the city in the caves of Monte Subasio where St. Francis and cohorts once upon a time lived. The church and monastery are positioned in woodlands. Carry a little cash to sponsor those who dwell there. In the northeast sector of town you will come across the Amphitheater and further Roman buildings including a theater and a forum. Move west to the Duomo, the San Rufino Cathedral, where St. Francis was baptized. Next, journey south to the Thirteenth Century Santa Chiara cathedral. Carry on northwest towards the Tempio di Minerva, vestiges of a Roman shrine dedicated to the divinity of wisdom that became a Catholic church in the Sixteenth Century. Aim north for Rocca Maggiore, a fortress rebuilt during the Fourteenth Century that dominates the conurbation. The sight of Assisi and the Spoleto basin is magnificent. The fortress often hosts fine art shows and a choice of exhibits.

We left the paramount for last. The Basilica of Saint Francis has been a Humankind Inheritance Location ever since 2000. The Higher and Lower Basilicas were started in 1228, shortly after St. Francis' canonization. Fascinatingly enough, the ground was identified as Collo d'Inferno (Hill of Hell). Here convicted criminals were executed. The churches' structural design is a mixture of Romanesque with Gothic styles, and helped set the tendency for numerous Italian edifices to come.

Don't hurry your visit here. The complex includes a vast group of windows, frescoes, paintings, and more. For numerous people the summit point will be the crypt where St. Francis is buried. Keep in mind the enforced dress code here: no exposed knees and no uncovered shoulders.