Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Grand Tour of Italy Day 10 Perugia

Day 10 Monday March 25, 2013
Assisi to Perugia

So far this trip, Hotel La Terrazza has had the BEST beds. But not the best breakfast. They offered up bread, cereal, meat and cheese but no eggs, bacon or any hot food. Oh well, we'll survive. Today is a free day in Assisi and some of us have opted for the optional trip to Perugia.

A few more images of Hotel La Terrazza, click here.
Yes Perugia, the chocolate capital of Italy, also the city where American Amanda Knox was convicted and acquitted of murdering her college roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007. The day we were in Perugia the Italian High Court was hearing arguments about whether to overturn the acquittal

Perugia is the capital city of the region of Umbria in central Italy, near the River Tiber. The city goes back to the Etruscan period 300 BC, and is now known as a university town, with the University of Perugia (about 34,000 students), the University for Foreigners (5,000 students) in addition to some smaller colleges. The city hosts annual festivals and events: the Eurochocolate Festival (October), the Umbria Jazz Festival, and the International Journalism Festival (in April).
We meet up with our guide for the day, Simona and head to the escalator to the city center. There is an underground city that dates back to the Roman Empire.
More images from the underground city, click here.

We wind our way through the underground tunnels and end up at the Gate of Mars, the best of the eight city gates.
The animal symbol for Perugia is the gryphon.
This one is in the Umbria Museum in the City Hall. The holes in the statute are there so the statute can be carried on poles during parades and processions. 

We make our way to towards the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. Directly in front of the Cathedral is the Fontana Maggiore, a medieval fountain located between the cathedral and the Palazzo dei Priori. It was made between 1277 and 1278 by sculptors Nicola Pisano and Giovanni Pisano. The hydraulics were by Fathers Bevignate and Boninsegna.
More Fountain images, click here.

We enter the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, (remember Saint Lorenzo--he was grilled alive) unfortunately they don't allow cameras but I cannot resist shooting a quick picture of the Virgin Mary's Wedding Ring.
The ring was obtained during the crusades then stolen from Chiusi in 1473 to be brought to Germany but the weather turned bad and it stayed in Perugia . Church officials solemnly take out the ring to show to the crowds on July 29 and 30.

After the church visit we have some free time to explore before our Wine Tasting. Jay and I head to the Bar Il Duomo di Belia & Starnini on Piazza Danti. We order two cioccolata caldas and they are scrumptious! All for 5 euros.
Jay and I wandered around a little more and found some very cool sites.
More cool things in Perugia, click here.

We meet the rest group and head toward Wine Bartola Hosteria for our wine tasting lunch.
Umberto and Misia
We get to taste two wines served with a lovely zuppa of lentils and vegetables with bread and olive oil. Followed by Insalata of lettuce, radicchio, carrots and salty olive oil. Most of the group liked the second wine the best.

Next up "Holy Wine" made from the skin of the grapes, a very sweet dessert wine served with homemade biscotti--still warm from oven. What a great lunch.
More Wine Tasting images, click here.

We arrive back to the hotel about 2 PM and take a quick power nap because tonight is Dinner at Bruno's!!
Misia arranged this dinner for us. She said she and her husband were driving around Assisi in a rain storm and were very lost. They saw a light and headed toward it (she said she felt like she was in the Rocky Horror Picture Show Movie!!) Bruno invited them in to dry off and asked if they had eaten yet. She said the meal was wonderful. Bruno makes his own wine, cheese, cured meat and pasta (well, actually the ladies do...) It was by far THE BEST meal we had the whole two weeks in Italy!!
A quick 15 minute drive from our hotel brought us to Bruno's. A small farm to table establishment in the Umbrian Hills. Dinner starts with an assortment of cured meats and cheeses. Next we sampled truffle bruschetta, OMG was this delicious. Out from the kitchen, piping hot two kinds of homemade linguine. A light Insalata with an assortment of veal, sausage and chicken are the main course.

We are then treated to a demonstration of linguine making by this wonderful, little old Italian lady.
Next out is dessert and limoncello and GRAPPA!!
Then came the laughs and merrymaking!!
Ciao, Ciao Bruno!
Grazie Bruno per un meraviglioso pasto.
Jen, Bruno and Morgan
More images from our dinner at Bruno's, click here.

Driving back to the hotel Rocca Maggiore is lite up and just spectacular.
Time to crash...Luggage at 7 AM, bus at 8AM 
WHAT after grappa...

Next up Pompeii!
Pubblicare domani!!! (Post tomorrow)

Perugia March 25 Day 10 
Grand Tour of Italy
Go Ahead Tours 
March 16-30, 2013
Copyright ©2013 Nancy Nutile-McMenemy
www.photosbynanci.com
More images of Italy: http://photosbynanci.smugmug.com/GrandTourofItaly 

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