Perugia (Italian pronunciation: [peˈruːdʒa] ( listen); Latin: Perusia) is the capital city of the region of Umbria in central Italy, crossed by the river Tiber. The city is also the capital of the province of Perugia. Perugia is located about 164 kilometres (102 miles) north of Rome, and 148 km (92 miles) south-east of Florence. It covers a high hilltop and part of the valleys around the area. The region of Umbria is bordered by Tuscany, Lazio and Marche.
The history of Perugia goes back to the Etruscan period. Perugia was one of the main Etruscan cities. The city is also known as the universities town, with the University of Perugia founded in 1308 (about 34,000 students), the University for Foreigners (5,000 students), and some smaller colleges such the Academy of Fine Arts "Pietro Vannucci" (Italian: Accademia di Belle Arti "Pietro Vannucci") public athenaeum founded on 1573, the Perugia University Institute of Linguistic Mediation for translators and interpreters, the Music Conservatory of Perugia, founded on 1788, and others Institutes. There are annual festivals and events: the Eurochocolate Festival (October), the Umbria Jazz Festival (July), and the International Journalism Festival (in April).
Culture and Art
Perugia is a well-known cultural and artistic centre of Italy. The famous painter Pietro Vannucci, nicknamed Perugino, was a native of Città della Pieve near Perugia. He decorated the local Sala del Cambio with a beautiful series of frescoes; eight of his pictures can also be admired in the National Gallery of Umbria. Perugino was the teacher of Raphael, the great Renaissance artist who produced five paintings in Perugia (today no longer in the city) and one fresco. Another famous painter, Pinturicchio, lived in Perugia. Galeazzo Alessi is the most famous architect from Perugia. The city symbol is the griffin, which can be seen in the form of plaques and statues on buildings around the city.
Perugia has a medieval subterranean city accessible by the escalators at the main square. This astounding labrynthine city can be visited by appointment.
Rocca Paolina, the past central fortress of the city, is today a multiple level gallery complex that houses continuous exhibits of Umbrian art.
One can view a Rafaello painting in the Capella di San Severo in the center of Perugia. In the Basilica di San Pietro, considered to be the second most beautiful interior or all churches in Italy, one can view paintings by Italian masters Vasari, Perugino, Pinturichio and Sassoferato.