Thursday, November 12th
Got up early for breakfast for the long drive down the mountain, and even longer drive to Perugia. Driving on the small town streets, constantly making unexpected turns, width too small for two cars, round-abouts make for some tense moments in our “large” car. But, we are getting used to it (sort of).
We made our way to Perugia, the best preserved walled city of its size in Italy.
Perugia was originally built on a very high hill, taking advantage of a difficult-to-reach location and thick walls for protection against invaders. Because of its expansion over several hills over many centuries however, the city has level upon level of residences and shops, an unusually broad corso (main street) and a street pattern made even more complicated and convoluted by time.
We were able to park in a lower level of the city and then take a maze of escalators and stairs to the central area. The way up took us past very visible layers of architectural history – definitely a uniue introduction to the place.
We found the National Gallery of Umbria and spent several hours walking through the exhibits.
Then we walked down, down, down to see the arch dating from the Etruscan period with its adjacent thick walls and characteristic huge stone blocks, looking like the very impressive entry to the city it undoubtedly was at one time. Of course we then had to walk up, up and up back to the Corso.
We climbed down, down, down to a recommended restaurant for a late lunch. When we got there it was closed, closed, closed. What else is new? Up, up, up….
Marsha encouraged Linda and Sada Sat to buy soft, colorful leather wallets at a store we passed earlier. Then a stop for gelato (and they didn’t have any sorbetto for poor Joel). We’ll be looking for the best gelato/sorbetto places in Florence, tomorrow.
We found our way back to the parking garage without difficulty but then got very lost trying to get back on the highway. We wound up driving into the city center, going up when we should have been going down. Josh, driving, navigated incredibly narrow streets and turns (very expertly). Our rental car felt enormous. We finally got out with the help of googlemaps although one wrong turn had us back on old city streets for at least another 15 minute circle.
Linda made a delicious fritatta dinner at home with really fresh mushrooms and tomatoes. We also got local fresh burrata and bread. So good. I’m eating as much cheese as possible, just can’t help it.
Off to Florence by train from Arezzo tomorrow.