Back now from my recent holiday away which was such a lovely Italian experience that was jam packed. When I told people I was going to Perugia some would reply back saying “Where is that” or “Oooo remind me where that is again”, bascially not a lot of people had a clue where Perugia was! How did I end up in Perugia? Studying for my Masters Degree has really exposed me to many different people and areas around the world. Which I am immensely grateful for as I have learnt new cultures and met some really interesting people. Letizia is the reason why I ended up in Perugia, she is passionate about her home city and I remember the first time she said “oh you should come to Perugia in the summer” and at the time I thought it may be impossible but I guess I was wrong, it became possible!
Perugia is a relatively small city that is located centrally in the middle of Italy in the region of Umbria. It is about 2 hours away from Rome and about an hour and a half to Florence. It is a very mountainous and hilly city with breathtaking views and large amounts of the green flowage. The weather was really gorgeous highs of 37 degrees, very hot actually, so hot that sometimes we had to rearrange plans so we were not in the sun in the warmest parts of the day.
The main city centre has a very old town Italian feel to it. The long strip is filled with cafes, restaurants and shops. Not too big but not too small either. In the evenings the centre came to life especially as the period I went there was a festival called “Umbria Jazz” which is embracing and celebrating the music genre of Jazz. The whole city will flock on the streets of the centre to watch live Jazz artists and socialise with friends and family.
The food omg! I am such a foodie and Italian cuisine is one of my favourite hands down. I knew prior this trip I was going to eat a lot and try new things. A typical Italian breakfast will consist of a coffee, croissant and fruit juice. They had croissants filled with cream, custard, jam, marmalade and even chocolate. I really loved the one with custard. I am not a coffee drinker so I did not drink any at all, yes I am strange like that I am in a coffee-loving country and did not drink any coffee at all.
I fell in love with a traditional pasta dish that is cooked and eaten in the Umbria region which is called; Norcina. A pasta dish that is popular in Umbria which uses pork sausage meat, cheese and truffles. It is such a simple dish but really tasty. I had it on my first day I arrived for lunch and the second time was when Letizia dad had cooked it for us for lunch which was very nice of him. Of course, I also ate ice cream. I visited twice this really busy and popular ice cream shop in the centre called “Gambrinus”. Real tasting ice cream with so many flavours to choose from. My personal favourite flavour was the banana one! Pizza Pizza Pizza yes PIZZA was eaten. I must say there is a real difference between Italian pizza and pizza in the UK. It is possible to get real authentic Italian pizza in the UK but you have to go to the right places to eat it, whereas in Italy that pizza is everywhere.
I was also able to visit a picturesque and beautiful white cliff, clear blue water Italian beach of Sirolo which is in the region of Marche which is about 2 hours away from Perugia. The journey was worth it, as Sirolo beach is stunning and very peaceful. It is a very quaint and cute town which seemed popular with tourists and local people. It is a pebble beach and the water is very clear.
This was a perfect way to spend a day relaxing and just not doing anything especially as the previous day was spent walking around Florence in the burning heat! What I really liked about Sirolo beach was it felt it was like a secret hidden escape away from the buzz of people and traffic.
The visit to Assisi town was very enjoyable and peaceful. Assisi has a lot of history as it is the birthplace of St Francis one of Italy’s patron saints who devoted and gave his life to the poor. It was a nice and quick drive to Assisi from Perugia as Assisi is situated in the hills of Umbria. The Bascilia of St Francis Assisi is very big and the town itself you get this very calming atmosphere and again the views are surreal. Was even able to see St Francis tomb inside the Bascilia which was a memorable experience.
My Italian adventure to the discovery of Perugia was enchanting. I think the timing was perfect for me to go as a way to recharge and explore something new. For me, on a personal note, it is also my first time to travel on a plane on my own and first time to travel to another country to meet a friend. This trip was filled with firsts really. I am so grateful for Letizia to have the time and energy to give me the best out of my trip, in the time I was there I really got to do, eat and see a lot of things. I met a lot of lovely and welcoming people to which made my trip memorable. Towards the end, I can say that maybe just maybe I was starting to understand some Italian, not perfectly but listening to the Italian songs and listening to the conversations of the Italian people I met, maybe my Italian language was improving… one can dream.
I know this is a long post but I really wanted to share, and I still have not spoken about Florence! That will be in another post for sure. Hope you enjoyed the post and let me know in the comments whether you have visited Perugia or if you have never heard about it before. Is there a city or town in Italy that one should visit if so let me know in the comments. Enjoy! xxx