MARCUS TRAVEL JOURNAL

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Perugia

It was in 1995 that we first visited Perugia. Losing our credit card while there turned our attention away from the sights to the task of getting a replacement; however, it is a city with an history. Subsequent trips has been less eventful, but we enjoy returning.

Perugia was conquered by the Romans and then it became involved in a war between Antonio and Ottaviano. Destroyed once during Roman times, it was again destroyed in 547. So with that rough start it continued to be part of the Byzantine dominions and eventually became a powerful, independenet city-state that was allied to the Papal State.

In 1540 Perugia was placed under the direct control of the Papal State. The Rocca Paolina, a symbol of the papal power over the city, errected at the order of the Pope, just so everyone would know about its status. Papal rule continued until Kingdom of Italy was established in 1861.

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Park at one of central parking lot and then ride what seems to be an endless series of esculators to arrive at the old centre of town. Walk to the Piazza IV Novembre and you are there. There are steep alleys which lead to the old Etruscan walls and the Porta Marzia, Porta Sole, Porta Cornea, Porta Trasimena, Porta della Mandorla and the Arco Etrusco.

The piazza is very impressive. Surrounded by splendid buildings and with the Fontanna Maggiore in the centre. The medieval fountain was built in the second half of the 12th century as was at that time the terminus of the the aqueduct which carried water to the town from Mount Pacciano. The sculpturs are by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano.

the Palazzo Dei Priori was built in 1298 has a large stairway and a portal leading to Sala dei Notari, a vaulted roomwith great frescoes. The Palazzo also holds the National Gallery of Umbria.

The Cathedral of San Lorenza soo more than a century to complete being completed near the end of the 1400s. The t side facing the palazzo has a bronze statue of Julius III, the portal by Ippolito Scalza, and large Gothic windows.

Some of the streets and walkways are actually under old vaulted archways. The archways were the supports for the fortress built in the 1500 for one of the popes: the Rocca Paolina. The palace is no more as In the 1800's papal rule ended and in a revolt the people destroyed the fortress.