The weather forecast was threatening so we had a debate about whether to head into Perugia. But after consulting with the weather channel app and the clerk at the desk for the campground it looked like the rain was going to hold off until late afternoon so we were off for Perugia.
The next issue was we had about 30 minutes to get to the train station which was about a mile away on foot. So we took off like someone chasing their water buffalo (to quote the Thai saying), and made it with a few minutes to spare. When we arrived in Perugia we saw signs announcing the European Chocolate Festival, so the day was definitely looking up. After taking the mini-Metro (maybe the cutest mass transit system we have seen) from the train station to the top of the hill that Perugia’s city center is located on we were greeted with row after row of tents with chocolates from primarily Italy, with a few of the biggies in Europe thrown into the mix.
In between visiting chocolate tents we also enjoyed Perugia. It is a beautiful town set on a hilltop with expansive views in all directions. We were also surprised by the beauty of the Palazzo dei Priori (Palace of the first People) which dates from the late 1200’s and was the seat of government during that time up to modern times. We wandered in by accident and then spent about 30 minutes walking around looking at the wood carvings and paintings.
Across the square is the Cathedral of Perugia and despite a little cathedral weariness we really enjoyed this one. It is quite different than the cathedrals we have seen in France, Germany, and Spain which seem to have a lot in common in design and decoration. Like St. Peters this one seems less in a pattern and more unique. The highlights were the different marble pillars, and the ceilings. But the surprise was a room off of the main cathedral. The sacristy (which is the room where the priests keep their formal clothing and other artifacts needed for mass) was covered in frescoes by an artist named Pandolfi and were really beautiful. It was like a small version of the Sistine Chapel, with the difference being that we had the room to ourselves to enjoy the art.
Keeping the rain in mind we cut our visit short, and headed back to François. We beat the rain. Ton really outdid herself with a pasta dish that would make any Italian proud. The rain has arrived and we are being treated to a pounding rain on the roof of François.