|Città di Perugia|
|Population density||352.59 /km²|
|Mayor||Renato Locchi (since June 13, 2004)|
Perugia first appears (as Perusia) in history as one of the twelve confederate cities of Etruria. It is first mentioned in the account of the war of 310 BC or 309 BC between the Etruscans and the Romans. It took, however, an important part in the rebellion of 295, and was reduced, with Vulsinii and Arretium (Arezzo), to seek for peace in the following year.
In 216 BC and 205 BC it assisted Rome in the Hannibalic war, but afterwards it is not mentioned until 41-40 BC, when Lucius Antonius took refuge there, and was reduced by Octavian after a long siege. A number of lead bullets used by slingers have been found in and around the city (Corpus inscr. lat. xi. 1212). The city was burnt, we are told, with the exception of the temples of Vulcan and Juno--the massive Etruscan terrace-walls, naturally, can hardly have suffered at all--and the town, with the territory for a mile round, was allowed to be occupied by whoever chose. It must have been rebuilt almost at once, for several bases exist, inscribed Augusta sacr(um) Perusia restituta; but, as we have seen, it did not become a colony until AD 251-253.
It is hardly mentioned except by the geographers until the middle of the 6th century, when it was captured by Totila after a long siege. In the Lombard period it is spoken of as one of the principal cities of Tuscia. In the 9th century, with the consent of Charles the Great and Louis the Pious, it passed under the popes; but for many centuries the city continued to maintain an independent life, warring against many of the neighbouring lands and cities--Foligno, Assisi, Spoleto, Todi, Siena, Arezzo, etc. It remained true for the most part to the Guelphs.
On various occasions the popes found asylum within its walls, and it was the meeting-place of the conclaves which elected Pope Honorius II (1124), Pope Honorius IV (1285), Pope Celestine V (1294), and Pope Clement V (1305). But Perugia had no mind simply to subserve the papal interests. At the time of Cola di Rienzi's unfortunate enterprise it sent ten ambassadors to pay him honour; and, when papal legates sought to coerce it by foreign soldiers, or to exact contributions, they met with vigorous resistance.
In the 15th century power was at last concentrated in the Baglioni family, who, though they had no legal position, defied all other authority. Gian Paolo Baglioni was lured to Rome in 1520 and beheaded by Pope Leo X; and in 1540 Rodolfo, who had slain a papal legate, was defeated by Pier Luigi Farnese, and the city, captured and plundered by his soldiery, was deprived of its privileges. A citadel known as the Rocca Paolina, after the name of Pope Paul III, was built "ad coercendam Perusinorum audaciam."
In 1797, the city was conquered by French troops. On 4 February 1798, the Tiberina Republic was formed, with Perugia as capital, and the French tricolour as flag. In 1799, the Tiberina Republic merged to the Roman Republic.
In 1832, 1838 and 1854 Perugia was visited by earthquakes; in May 1849 it was seized by the Austrians; and, after a futile insurrection in the June of 1859, bloodily defeated by Pius IX's troops, it was finally united, along with the rest of Umbria, to Piedmont, in 1860.
Perugia has become famous for chocolate, mostly because of a single firm, Perugina, whose Baci (kisses) are widely exported. Perugia chocolate is very popular in Italy, and the city hosts a chocolate festival in October of every year.
Perugia today hosts two universities, and is a melting pot for students from all over Italy and all over the world.
The city symbol is the griffin, which can be seen in the form of plaques and statues on buildings around the city.
- Cathedral (Duomo) S. Lorenzo
- Collegio del Cambio (Frescoes by Pietro Perugino)
- Collegio della Mercanzia (late fourteenth century wooden interior)
- Palazzo dei Priori (town hall, encompasing the Collegio del Cambio, Collegio della Mercanzia, and Galleria Nazionale)
- Church of San Pietro (late 16th century)
- Basilica of San Domenico (begun in 1394)
- Church of S. Angelo (6th century)
- Church of S. Bernardino (with façade by Agostino di Duccio)
- Fontana Maggiore, a medieval fountain designed by Fra Bevignate and sculpted by Nicolò and Giovanni Pisano
- Galleria Nazionale, the National Gallery of Perugia (works by Duccio, Piero della Francesca, Fra Angelico, Perugino)
- Ipogeo dei Volumni (Hypogeum of the Volumnus family), an Etruscan chamber tomb
- National Museum of Umbrian Archaeology
- Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo
- Porta Augusta, a Roman gate with Etruscan elements
- the Rocca Paolina, a Renaissance fortress
- Etruscan walls and subterranean tunnels
- medieval aqueduct
- The Tribunali
- Piazza Matteotti
- Teatro Comunale Morlacchi
- Church of Sant' Agata
- Church of Sant' Ercolano
- Church of Sant'Antonio da Padova
- Church of S. Francesco al Prato
- Church of S. Giuliana
- Church of S. Matteo in Campo Orto
- Church of SS. Stefano e Valentino
- A.C. Perugia - local football club
- Official Site
- Perugia OnLine
- PhotoRoma's Perugia page
- Bill Thayer's site