A hilltop gem of resurgent independence

Perugia often falls short of the tourist itinerary, however this hilltop city of hidden views and architectural upheaval is home to a resurgent independent culture well worth exploring. As with all Italian cities, its churches and art museums are recommended, but its charm lies in the unexpected sights you cross on foot. Ascending the primary escalators to the city centre you cut through the Rocca Paolina, three layers of architectural history preserved underground with building remnants from the original Baglioni family, the violent Papal takeover and the relatively recent Risorgimento rebuilding. Meanwhile, entering the metro at Pincetto the view opens out to a sweeping vista of the Umbrian countryside below. It's only a small city but Perugia's elevation means even lesser-famed sites take on a more impressive air. Escalators and the intelligent mini metro system incentivise car-free travel to the predominantly pedestrianised centre, and green ethics continue to the dining and shopping scene. Slow restaurant Il Moderno champions local, organic and primely vegetarian fare, while Edicola 518 is one of Italy's leading newsagents of independent publications. It may not boast Da Vinci or the Sistine Chapel but, for food, literary and architecture lovers, Perugia is a worthy alternative.


An inventive menu in a historic setting, Mercato Vianova brings the creative passion of a young independent to the classic architecture of Perugia’s cobbled centre.


Far more than just a newsstand, Edicola 518 is Perugia’s beating heart of freedom and revolution.


PostModernissimo is an independent space in Perugia for the both the lesser known and the most celebrated in the world of cinema.


Veg-focused idyll in the heart of Perugia’s creative Via della Viola.