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Trip Report UMBRIA: from Perugia to Ascoli Piceno, Truffles to Oliva all Ascolana

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A continuation of my trip report on the Veneto:
http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/the-veneto-from-verona-to-ravenna-bresaola-di-cavallo-to-nero-di-seppie.cfm

Next stop PERUGIA

I had been anticipating exploring the lively town of Perugia ever since seeing it on Bella Italia, I believe a BBC special series.
That show was filmed from a helicopter, giving a unique view of Perugia. It intrigued me, with its medieval dark past in contrast with the modern sight of it all light and blue sky, white buildings with red roofs, surrounded by thick green pine trees, and all those staircases.

How bad can a place be that is known for its language school? Of course, there is also the intrigue of the Amanda Knox affair hanging in the air.

We have scheduled the afternoon and evening to explore the town. GPS guides us to the parcheggio close to our hotel, Sangallo Palace. There is a hot wind blowing, making it difficult to expend too much energy. Happily, there are the escalators that take visitors up to the top of the town.
Somewhere half way up is the Rocca Paolina, the fortress that covered and preserved parts of the medieval city hundreds of years ago, which is now observable, like a sort of Middle Ages Pompeii. Also preserved is the Etruscan Gate of Mars. Fascinating stuff, this underground world.
At the top of the escalators is Piazza Italia, and a beautiful view over the valley. Down the wide Corso Vanucci to the other end is Piazza IV Novembre, with its Fontana Maggiore. All the buildings are white, but weathered, stone.

This we explore, the obvious, but with a full day planned tomorrow, there is no time for anymore of this town suspended in mid-air.

Hungry now, we find La Taverna, for supper, down the stairs of an alleyway, of which Perugia has many.
Here we have another stupendous meal for a very good price. Our antipasti starter includes bruschetta of both white and dark truffles, chicken liver, and the most flavourful olive oil, along with a salad made with radicchio, and also sausage and salumi. About this time, we are wishing we hadn't ordered anything else, but we have. ....
We share a pasta dish, then a secondi, perhaps it was veal escalope, and comes with the most incredible roasted potatoes. Total €64. Including wine.

Ristorante La Taverna Via Delle Streghe 8 Perugia

Okay tomorrow, I vow not to eat a thing! I can tell already, Umbria will be about the food!

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