Situated in central Italy, north of Rome, Perugia is a hilltop city that evokes the glories of the Renaissance. For centuries, arts and culture have flourished here amongst the winding, sloping streets and open piazzas. Chic Retreat’s luxury hotels and villas reflect this tradition, with some based in ancient castles, some dating as far back as the 9th century. With daily flights throughout most of the year to nearby Rome and easy links from Florence, Perugia makes an excellent destination for those wanting a culture hit, and to explore the glorious Umbrian countryside.
Where to go
Perugia’s cathedral, Cattedrale Metropolitana di San Lorenzo, makes for a glorious few hours admiring its Baroque and Renaissance treasures, including those in the cathedral museum. Both the Palazzo dei Priori, or Town Hall and the Rocca Paolina, the fortress dominating the town’s skyline, continue the theme for those who seek to explore Perugia’s storied past. Further afield,. Assisi has treasures to offer and Spoleto has spectacular Roman remains. Those who enjoy a glass of Chianti will be in heaven, with the wine-producing towns of Montefalco and Torgiano a short drive away from Perugia. Many of the local vineyards host tours and tastings regularly throughout the warmer months.
Food & Drink
With roots stretching back to the Etruscan period, and refined over the centuries in farmhouses, the cuisine of Perugia is simple, hearty fare. The region is famous for its sausages and cured hams. As an area where truffles are found, these delectable fungi also make an appearance on the menu. Chocolate lovers won’t miss out - Baci, the famous italian chocolate treats were first manufactured by the Perugina company in the town. To get a real understanding of the Perugian way of eating, we recommend La Lemura (Corso Bersaglieri 22), a favourite in the area known for authentic local dishes you won’t find elsewhere.
For a local bar with an unparalleled moonlit view over the Umbrian hills, Punto di Vista (Viale Indipendenza 2) can’t be beat. For something a little more fast-paced, H2NO (Via Baldeschi, 12/a) is a fun, quirky bar that features Roman archways and a great drink selection.
How to get there
Perugia is easily accessible by car, train and bus from the nearest airports at Rome and Florence. Flights to Rome depart many UK airports daily, including from London Stansted.
Where to stay
Castello di Petroia is situated in authentic medieval fortresses, giving a distinct feel for region’s turbulent past. Don’t be fooled, however it ensures a luxury experience with fine dining, stylish decor and welcoming grounds very much at the forefront of your visit. Elsewhere, Villa Metato has a much more modern vintage, dating back to the 18th century, but is a splendid, intimate villa for two - perfect for a romantic break.