Perugia, Umbria: A City of Charm, Chocolate and Scandal

City wall in Perugia, Umbria, Italy

Perugia, the capital city of Umbria, oozes with charm from almost every corner, but there’s also chocolate and plenty of scandal as well!  There is the requisite town wall, a good chunk of which is still standing (pictured above).  The city’s Piazza which is the place of many events:

perugia umbria market square

Perugia’s Piazza

Interesting architecture that hints at the city’s old age of 310 or 309 B.C.:

perugia umbria architecture

Wandering through the streets of Perugia, you find historic buildings and interesting architecture everywhere.

Even the roofs in Perugia have character:

perugia umbria roofs

Even the roofs in Perugia have character.

And only in Perugia, would something as mundane as an aqueduct be worthy of a photo opp – but of course the aqueducts in Perugia date back to the middle ages!:

perugia umbria medieval aquaducts

Only in Perugia…even something as mundane as the medieval aqueducts are worthy of a photo opp!

Now that I’ve hopefully convinced you of Perugia’s charm, it’s time for the chocolate.  You know those Baci kisses that taste so good?  Made in Perugia!  Perugia is also known for being a university town so why not go back to school – Chocolate School that is (site is only in Italian)!  I didn’t attend chocolate school, but I did “grade” the results, which were definitely worthy of an “A” grade.  Real chocoholics know the best time to come to Perugia is in October for  the Eurochocolate Festival  which is held annually.  Perfect for those of us that would rather just eat the chocolate than make it.  This year it runs from October 19th – 28th.

perugia umbria town

View of Perugia

When you’re not eating chocolate or admiring the charm of Perugia, you can seek out the latest scandals and there are some big ones!  Like the fact that former Libyan leader Mummar Gaddafi’s son, Al-Saadi Gadafi played for Perugia’s football (soccer for N. Americans) club.  Admittedly it was in 2003 and was only one substitute appearance though as he soon there after failed a drug test.  Ironically, or perhaps not, his trainer was Canadian former Olympian sprinter Ben Johnson who lost his medals since he also failed a drug test.

Or you may be familiar with the American exchange student Amanda Knox who was initially found guilty of murdering Meredith Kircher, but who successfully appealed the court’s decision?  It happened in Perugia when she was a student.

If the walls of Perugia could talk!  But I still prefer the charm, followed by the chocolate.  Scandal is not really my thing, although it does give a place character.  Which do you prefer, charm, chocolate or scandal?

Know Before You Go to Perugia, Umbria:

  • See Umbria on the Blog for more info about Perugia and other places to explore in Umbria
  • Perugia is located ~164km north from Rome (be sure to check out the Rome Coliseum, visit a Rome Market or for the more adventurous, test your combat skills at Gladiator School when in Rome)
  • Other places of interest in Umbria are  and or 84km north of Marmore’s Falls, the world’s largest man-made waterfall , 84km to the north, or Monti Sibillini National Park located 100km to the east where among other things, you can ride a donkey!

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Laurel Robbins is the founder of Monkeys and Mountains, an adventure travel blog and company that helps people plan their active holidays in a sustainable way. Although Canadian, she lives in Germany. You can find her in the mountains on most weekends.



  1. Denise May 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    beautifully captured. I especially like the super colourful roof shot.

  2. Laurel May 24, 2012 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    @Denise – Thank you. I was fascinated by the roofs there.

  3. Renee King May 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Wow…I am so out of the loop with you and your site….name change? Anyways, thanks for this. I am planning an extended trip to Europe next year and was thinking of more places to visit and I think this is the ticket. Perugia, Umbria!! I am in love with this architecture and can’t wait to walk through, feel and experience this gem of a city.

  4. Aleah | May 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    I love the dreamy atmosphere! Italy is really so beautiful. Wish I can explore more of it like you do.

  5. Sophie May 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Charm, chocolate and perhaps just a wee bit of scandal…
    The colourful aqueduct: very nice shot!

  6. Leigh May 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    Perugia looks very appealing through your photos Laurel – and what a bonus going to chocolate school. Your aqueduct photo is great.

  7. Andrea May 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    I also love the aqueduct pic. 🙂

  8. Laurel May 24, 2012 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    @Aleah – I love Italy too and despite having lived in Germany for almost 2 years, that was my first visit to Italy. Fortunately I have at least 2 more visits planned this year 🙂

    @Sophie – I hear ya! It was definitely the nicest aqueduct I’ve ever seen.

    @Leigh – I loved it, even though I didn’t go to Chocolate School – next time.

    @Andrea – Thanks, who knew aqueducts could be so interesting 🙂

  9. Zhu May 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    The name of the place rang a bell… and I realized when you mentioned it it was because of the murder that took place here. As awful as the entire story was, it was quite fascinating.

    Aqueducts are not the least mundane to me, and that picture is amazing!

  10. Dick Jordan May 24, 2012 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Heck, how did I miss the Chocolate School?

  11. Lisa May 24, 2012 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    I love charming European towns and if there’s chocolate as well, all the better!!

  12. You had me hooked with the very first picture! This is my kind of village. Note to self, plan trip to Italy including Umbria now 🙂 Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures.

  13. jade May 24, 2012 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Beautiful photos- love the one with all the light coming through the buildings. Wish I had with you guys!

  14. Steve May 25, 2012 at 3:34 am - Reply

    They must have really known how to build things back when Perugia was founded because most of those buildings look like a strong sneeze would bring them crashing down, yet they’re still standing. I want to go over there and personally redo every one of the roofs in that picture. It sure gives the town some charm though. The chocolate would just be a bonus.

  15. Sabrina May 25, 2012 at 3:42 am - Reply

    You’re so right! These roofs have character. So pretty! And a chocolate school? I guess I better get my Italian up to speed 🙂

  16. Mary @ The World Is A Book May 25, 2012 at 4:22 am - Reply

    What a beautiful city! It has such great character and architecture. Love the picture of the rooftops and the aqueducts. Oh my – a Eurochocolate Festival? Sounds like chocolate heaven.

  17. Barry May 25, 2012 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Anything with the word ‘chocolate’ commands my immediate and undivided attention. Fascinating architecture and the colors in the aqueduct photo are amazing. This is a place I would really like t visit. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Coolmons Blog May 25, 2012 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    Beautiful pictures, looks like my kinda place to visit 🙂

  19. Jenna May 26, 2012 at 5:45 am - Reply

    I was in Perugia when I studied abroad in Florence back in 1995. It seemed like a great city, an interesting mix of old an new. I hope to explore Umbria much more one day soon…

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  21. Ashleen Moreen May 28, 2012 at 6:14 am - Reply

    Perugia, Umbria is such a beautiful city. I love the way you describe the place but in fairness it is really nice and wonderful. Great photos as well.

  22. Terry Bhola May 29, 2012 at 3:51 am - Reply

    Wow, great pictures! Love the town wall shot, Laurel. Used to tool around Umbria’s countryside in my old Fiat cinquecento. (Even wrote a book about it.) Next time you go, visit Hermann’s Forest:

  23. Jessica May 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    What a charming place! I love the picture of the medieval aquaducts. The colors are perfect!

  24. Umbria on the Blog June 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Charm and Chocolate, okay. Scandal? Well, I guess relatively so (though it ain’t anything compared to my hometown of Chicago, as scandalousness goes)…;)

  25. Villa in Umbria June 24, 2015 at 7:51 am - Reply

    We love the charm of Perugia! And not the scandals of course … Next week is Umbria Jazz, such a great event in Perugia!

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