Self-guided Walking Tour of Perugia (Map & Route!)

Self-guided Walking Tour Of Perugia

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Welcome to Perugia, a city that beautifully blends its ancient heritage with a vibrant, modern culture. Nestled atop a hill in the heart of Italy, Perugia is the capital of Umbria and offers an enchanting journey through time with its cobbled streets, historic architecture, and rich artistic legacy. This self-guided walking tour is designed to help you explore the most captivating sites of Perugia at your own pace, allowing you to immerse yourself in the city’s unique atmosphere.

As you stroll through Perugia, you will encounter remnants of Etruscan, Roman, and medieval times, all coexisting harmoniously with contemporary life. From the grandeur of its medieval gates and the serenity of its ancient churches to the bustling energy of its squares and markets, Perugia is a city that tells a story at every turn.

This tour will take you through the heart of Perugia’s historic center, starting at the impressive Piazza IV Novembre, home to the magnificent Fontana Maggiore and the grand Palazzo dei Priori. You will wander down charming alleyways, discover hidden gems like the Pozzo Etrusco, and marvel at panoramic views from the city’s ancient walls. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to visit some of Perugia’s most important cultural institutions, including the National Gallery of Umbria and the Collegio del Cambio.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, or simply a curious traveler, this walking tour will provide you with a deep appreciation for Perugia’s rich cultural tapestry. Lace up your comfortable shoes, grab a map, and set off on an unforgettable journey through the streets of Perugia, where every corner holds a piece of history waiting to be discovered.

How to get to Perugia

By Car: If driving you can park at Parcheggio Saba Piazza Partigiani, for larger vehicles try Parcheggio Auto 4

By Train: Perugia is well suited to travelling to by train, with Stazione St.Anna being close to the start of this walk.

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Rocca Paolina

Rocca Paolina A Perugia
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Andrea Biagi

It is quite difficult to find the entrance to the undercity. Your best bet is to walk from the bus station and Piazza Partigiani along the escalators. If you are coming from another directio head for Porta Marzia.

Commissioned by Pope Paul III in the 1540s, this fortress eradicated entire sections of what was once a prosperous neighborhood. Although its interior has been transformed to accommodate escalators (scale mobili) leading up to the historic center, the fortress remains a fascinating site. Its formidable walls, atmospheric lighting, and dark nooks and crannies create an intriguing ambiance. Occasionally, the space is used for temporary exhibitions. Above the fortress lies a small park, the Giardini Carducci, offering a peaceful retreat.

Location: Rocca Paolina, Piazza Italia, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy | Hours: Rocca: Daily 6:15am-2:00am C.E.R.P: Tuesday to Sunday 11:00 – 19:00
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Piazza Italia

Piazza Italia,Perugia
CC BY-SA 3.0 / trolvag

As you ride the escalators from the underground car park at Piazza Partigiani, you’ll pass under or through the impressive Paolina Fortress and under the portico of the Government Palace, established in 1870.

The historic Piazza Italia, is a square built to commemorate the events of 1860-1861 that led to the unification of Italy. Piazza Italia is flanked by significant buildings constructed after the demolition of the Paolina Fortress in 1861. Notable structures include the Albergo Brufani, built in 1880, the Bank of Italy from 1871, and the Cesaroni Palace, designed in 1897 by Gugliemo Calderini of Perugia. Calderini also designed the Palace of Justice in Rome. Another of his designs, a residential condominium built in 1872, adds to the architectural landscape of the square.

The distinguished La Rosetta Hotel, dating back to 1716, and the Donini Palace, built in 1724 and known for its magnificent frescoes, also grace the square. At the center of Piazza Italia stands a bronze statue of King Victor Emmanuel II, erected in 1890, symbolizing the unity and pride of the Italian nation.

Location: Piazza Italia, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy
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Palazzo Baldeschi

Palazzo Baldeschi Perugia
CC BY-SA 1.0 / Palazzo Baldeschi al Corso

Walk north up Corso Vannucci. As you pass through Piazza della Repubblica, admire the elegant façade of the former Church of Sant Isidoro. Palazzo Baldeschi al Corso is at the north end of the small square.

Location: Palazzo Baldeschi al Corso, Corso Pietro Vannucci, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy | Hours: Tuesday - Thursday: 3:00 pm - 7:30 pm; Friday - Sunday: 11:00 am - 1:30 pm / 2:30 pm - 7:30 pm | Price: €4
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Nobile Collegio del Cambio

Collegio Del Cambio
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Accurimbono

Continue to wlk north up Corso Vannucci Nobile Collegio del Cambio will be on your left.

From 1452 to 1457, the Nobile Collegio del Cambio served as the seat of Perugia’s Moneychangers Guild. This richly adorned building features three notable rooms. The first, the Sala dei Legisti, also known as the Jurists’ Hall, boasts 17th-century wooden stalls intricately carved by Giampiero Zuccari. The second, the Sala dell’Udienza, or Audience Chamber, is known for its inlaid wooden furniture and remarkable Renaissance frescoes by Perugino. The third room, the Cappella di San Giovanni Battista, or Chapel of San Giovanni Battista, showcases exquisite artwork painted by Giannicola di Paolo, a student of Perugino. Together, these rooms reflect the opulence and artistic heritage of Perugia’s guilds.

Location: Nobile Collegio del Cambio, Corso Pietro Vannucci, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy | Hours: Everyday 10:00am – 19:00pm Closed: December 25, January 1, and Monday afternoons from November 2nd to March 31st | Price: €4.50
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Piazza IV Novembre


Continue to way you were heading and you reach Piazza IV Novembre.

In Perugia, Piazza IV Novembre is the ultimate crossroads, drawing everyone to its historic embrace. Surrounded by the imposing Palazzo dei Priori and the grand Cattedrale, this square has been central to the city’s life since its time as the Roman forum, continuing through its role as the medieval political and geographic hub. Nowadays, it thrives as a lively meeting spot where locals and visitors alike relax on the cathedral steps, bask in the sunshine, and enjoy the performances of street entertainers.

Location: Piazza IV Novembre, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Free
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Palazzo dei Priori

Palazzo Dei Priori, Perugia
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Robertofavini

The Palazzo dei Priori in Perugia is a striking example of medieval architecture, located on the city’s main street, Corso Vannucci. Constructed between 1293 and 1443, this Gothic-style palace has a distinctive crenellated roofline and features ornate stone carvings. It served as the seat of the city’s magistrates and is still home to the Municipal Council and the National Gallery of Umbria. Notable elements include the Sala dei Notari, with its impressive frescoes, and the richly decorated portals and windows that reflect the building’s historical significance and artistic heritage.

Location: Palazzo dei Priori, Piazza IV Novembre, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy | Hours: Tuesday to Friday 8:30 – 19:00 Monday From April 1 to October 31: 12:00-19:30
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National Gallery of Umbria

National Gallery Of Umbria
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Sailko

Umbria’s premier art gallery is located in Palazzo dei Priori on Perugia’s main thoroughfare. This extensive collection, displayed chronologically across 40 rooms, is one of central Italy’s most esteemed, featuring over 3,000 works. The gallery’s holdings span from Byzantine-inspired 13th-century paintings to Gothic works by Gentile da Fabriano and Renaissance masterpieces by local luminaries Pinturicchio and Perugino. Noteworthy pieces include Gentile da Fabriano’s “Madonna con il Bambino e angeli” (early 15th century), Pinturicchio’s “Pala di Santa Maria dei Fossi” altarpiece (1496–98), and Benedetto Bonfigli’s fresco cycle for the Cappella dei Priori (circa 1454–80).

Location: National Gallery, Corso Pietro Vannucci, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy | Hours: Tuesday to Friday 8:30 – 19:00 Monday From April 1 to October 31: 12:00-19:30
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Fontana Maggiore

Fontana Maggiore, Perugia
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Monica

The highlight of Piazza IV Novembre is the exquisite Fontana Maggiore, crafted from delicate pink-and-white marble. This remarkable fountain was conceived by Fra Bevignate and constructed between 1275 and 1278 by the renowned sculptors Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, a talented father-and-son duo. The fountain features a two-tier polygonal basin adorned with around 50 bas-reliefs and 24 statues. These intricate carvings depict scenes from the Old Testament, the founding of Rome, the seven liberal arts, and the signs of the zodiac, along with a griffin and a lion. In this artistic ensemble, the griffin symbolizes Perugia, while the lion represents the Guelphs, the medieval faction that supported the papacy in its conflicts with the Holy Roman Empire.

Location: Fontana Maggiore, Piazza IV Novembre, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Free
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Cattedrale di San Lorenzo

Perugia - Cattedrale Di San Lorenzo
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Undergrowth90

Dominating Piazza IV Novembre is Perugia’s imposing medieval cathedral. While a church has occupied this site since the 900s, the current structure was initiated in 1345 based on designs by Fra Bevignate. Construction continued until 1587, although the main facade remains unfinished. Inside, visitors can admire striking late-Gothic architecture, an altarpiece by Signorelli, and sculptures by Duccio. The steps in front of the cathedral are a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists alike, offering a prime view of the pink-and-white Fontana Maggiore.

Location: Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Piazza IV Novembre, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy | Hours: From Monday to Saturday 8.30/12.30 – 15.30/19.30 Sunday and holidays 8.30/12.30 – 15.00/19.00 | Website
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The Historic Aqueduct of Perugia

Acquedotto Medievale Perugia
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Comune di Perugia

Walk along the north side of the cathedral, when you come to a road walk directly across towards the arches and down the steps. Walk along the top of the aquaduct.

This Roman aqueduct was significantly expanded during the medieval period. In 1254, Fra Bevignate and Boninsegna da Venezia directed the creation of a roughly four-kilometer route to transport water from the springs of Monte Pacciano directly to the city. The project was particularly challenging due to Perugia’s elevated position, which required an innovative solution to move water uphill and across the depressions and steep slopes between the hill and the city. After years of study, the engineers employed a forced pressure conduit, achieving a remarkable hydraulic feat that allowed the water to flow in reverse motion. The project was completed in 1278, when water finally reached the Fontana Maggiore in Piazza IV Novembre. By 1322, as noted on a plaque in the fountain’s upper basin, a more direct route with a greater difference in height and pressure was constructed, further enhancing the aqueduct’s efficiency.

Location: Acquedotto medievale di Perugia, Via Appia, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Free
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Arco d'Augusto

Etruscan Arch
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Bibopg79

When you reach to road turn right, at the end of the street Arco Etrusco is on your right.

The Arco d’Augusto, once one of seven gates providing access through the Etruscan walls surrounding Perugia, was constructed in the second half of the third century BC. It is named after the Roman Emperor Augustus, who restored the gate in 40 BC following his conquest of the city. Due to the fortified walls and Perugia’s elevated position, Augustus succeeded in capturing Perugia only after a grueling seven-month siege. The inscription “Augusta Perusia” on the gate dates back to this period. The gate’s two arches connect two trapezoidal towers, one of which features a Renaissance loggia added later. Additionally, the fountain at the base of this tower was completed in 1621.

Location: Etruscan Arch, Via Ulisse Rocchi, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Free
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Casa Museo di Palazzo Sorbello

House Museum Of Palazzo Sorbello
CC BY-SA 4.0 / PozzoEtrusco

Walk to the right of the arch with the walls on your right. at the next arch, walk up the stairs on the left. There are great views over Perugia from the top. Walk up Via delle Prome and turn left at the end to reach Piaza Piccinino and the Casa Museo di Palazzo Sorbello.

This exquisite 17th-century mansion, once owned by the aristocratic Sorbello family, has been meticulously restored to its opulent 18th-century glory. Adorned with frescoes, gilt detailing, and sparkling chandeliers, the mansion offers guided tours in both Italian and English. Visitors can marvel at the family’s lavish collection of art, porcelain, embroidery, and manuscripts. Among the highlights is a particularly graphic painting by Francesco Vanni depicting the beheading of St. John the Baptist from 1589. Additionally, the mansion features a rare Ca’ Rezzonico–style chandelier by Briati dating back to the 1450s, one of the few such pieces in existence outside of private collections.

Location: Palazzo Sorbello Casa Museo, Piazza Piccinino, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy | Hours: Spring/Summer: Monday-Saturday 10:30am – 2:00pm Fall/Winter: Monday-Friday 11:00am – 2:00pm | Price: €4 | Website
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Pozzo Etrusco

The Etruscan Well
CC BY-SA 4.0 / PozzoEtrusco

Head back the way you came and opposite Via del Sole is the Pozzo Etrusco or Etruscan Well.

The Etruscan Well, also known as Pozzo Etrusco, offers a rare glimpse into the advanced engineering skills of the Etruscan civilization. The well was built to provide a reliable water supply to the city, showcasing the importance of water management in ancient urban planning. Upon entering the well, visitors first view an educational video providing context and historical background. The well itself, constructed in the third century BC, is an impressive feat of ancient hydraulic engineering. A modern walkway allows visitors to explore the interior and view the water source 121 feet (37 meters) below. The chamber is atmospheric, with dim lighting highlighting the ancient stonework.

Location: Etruscan Well, Piazza Ignazio Danti, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy | Hours: Monday to Sunday 10.00 am – 1.30 pm, 2.30 pm – 6.00 pm The museum is closed on Monday afternoons from May 2 to July 10 | Price: €3, € 6.00 Combined ticket (Etruscan Well & House Museum of Palazzo Sorbello)
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Palazzo di Capitano del Popolo

Perugia, Palazzo Del Capitano Del Popolo
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Gianni Careddu

Walk back to the Piazza IV Novembre and left down Via Guglielmo Calderini and then right onto Piazza Giacomo Matteotti. Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo is on your left.

Built between 1473 and 1481 in the ancient Piazza del Sopramuro, this palace was designed by Lombard architects Gasperino di Antonio and Leone di Matteo. Initially, it served as the residence for the Captains of the People and later the Bargelli (Captains of the Guards). The palace showcases a blend of medieval and Renaissance architectural elements, incorporating pre-existing ancient structures. Originally, the facade featured an additional upper level and was crowned with battlements, which were destroyed in the earthquake of 1741. Luigi Vanvitelli later restored the facade to its current form. The basement of the palace houses buildings with Roman foundations, which were reconstructed at the end of the 14th century.

Location: Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy
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Civic Museum at Palazzo della Penna

Palazzo Penna - Bertel Thorvaldsen
CC BY-SA 2.0 / G.dallorto

At the end of Piazza Giacomo Matteotti turn left down Via Guglielmo Oberdan. Turn down the steps of Via Sant’Ercolano to allow you to pass under Etruscan Arco di Sant’Ercolano. At the bottom of the steps turn to you right in front of the impressive Church of Sant’Ercolano. Turn first left down the narrow Prospero Podiani, to get to the Civic Museum at Palazzo della Penna.

At the end of the staircase on Via Sant’Ercolano, you’ll find a stunning 16th-century building, accessed through an impressive wooden portal. In the 16th century, this palace, built on the ruins of a Roman amphitheater, served as the residence of the Arcipriests della Penna. Ascanio della Penna began the art collection in the 18th century, which was relocated at the end of the 19th century. Today, the museum boasts an extensive collection of works by German artist Joseph Beuys and renowned Perugian futurist painter Gerardo Dottori, who co-authored the “Futurist Aeropainting Manifesto” in 1929.

Location: Museo Civico di Palazzo della Penna, Via Prospero Podiani, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy | Hours: Summer Season (May-October): Tuesdays – Sundays 10:00 am–7:00 pm April and August Only: Open 7 days a week: 10:00 am–7:00 pm Winter Season (November – March): Tuesdays – Sundays 10:00 am-6:00 pm | Price: € 3
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Museo Archeologico Nazionale dell'Umbria

Perugia, Museo Archeologico Nazionale Dell’Umbria
CC BY-SA 3.0 / SBAUmbria

Continue to walk down Prospero Podiani to join Corso Cavour, and turn right. The Basilica di San Domenico and Museo Archeologico Nazionale dell’Umbria is on your left.

Housed in the former convent of the Basilica di San Domenico, Umbria’s regional archaeology museum boasts an extensive collection of Etruscan and prehistoric artifacts. The collection includes carved funerary urns, coins, and Bronze Age statuary, with pieces dating back to the 16th century BC. One of the museum’s standout pieces is the Cippo Perugino (Perugian Memorial Stone), which features the longest Etruscan-language engraving ever discovered, providing a rare glimpse into this ancient and obscure culture.

Location: National Archaeological Museum of Umbria, Piazza Giordano Bruno, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy | Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 8:30am – 7:30pm, Mondays 10am-7:30pm. Closed on January 1st and December 25th. | Price: €5
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Abbazia di San Pietro

Basilica Di San Pietro, Perugia
CC BY-SA 4.0 / AliasXX00

Continue down Corso Cavour to reach the Abbazia di San Pietro.

South of the town center, beyond the Porta di San Pietro, lies the atmospheric 10th-century basilica complex. Dominated by a landmark bell tower, the basilica’s interior is breathtaking, adorned with opulent displays of gilt and marble. Among its remarkable artworks is a Pietà by Perugino, depicting the dead Christ supported by the Madonna. After exploring the basilica, you can clear your head with a stroll or a picnic in the serene Orto Medievale gardens located behind the complex.

Location: Abbazia di San Pietro, Borgo XX Giugno, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy | Hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays h. 10:00 am – 1:00 pm / 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm The church is free for worshippers Sundays and Mondays h. 7:30 pm - 12:30 pm / 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm | Price: €6 | Website
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