Feb 5th, 2002, 06:10 PM
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We will be have 2 days in Assisi...there is an option of going to Perugia on one of those days..Is Perugia worth the visit or two full days in Assisi? thanks
Feb 5th, 2002, 06:24 PM
Jim Humberd
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Perugia is well worth a visit, as are a thousand other towns in Italy.

Our book, Invitation To Italy says,


All in all, we think Assisi is one of the more special cities in Italy.
… …

But surprise of all surprises, there was a two-story, canopy covered escalator, leading up the hill toward town. We never saw that before, anywhere. An escalator climbing the hill in a medieval city. Talk about contrast!

At the top of the escalator we walked higher through the town, then turned and walked down, down and down the hill, snaking through this most unusual city. Fruit and vegetable vendors filled market squares, pink stone houses and stores lined the narrow walkways, and we noticed that Assisi is kept clean and neater than many Italian towns.

and at Perugia

On our second visit we discovered that instead of a little village with really narrow, really steep streets, Perugia is a city of 150,000 population with really narrow, really steep streets. While looking for a place to park, at one place a one-way street went down hill at a 26% grade, it almost felt as if the front bumper would scrape.
… …

Well, we made it OK, but Emmy set a record for shrieking in G above high C, and thank goodness Jim’s pants were washable.
Feb 5th, 2002, 09:03 PM
Helen Donegan
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Hi Lydia

I live in Perugia and love Assisi.

Perugia has a lovely medieval centre and what were the first escalators in Europe bringing people up to the centre from large car parks. There is the National Art Gallery of Umbria and Etruscan ruins etc.

However, unless you have a specific reason to go there, I would not visit Perugia if I only had 2 days in the area. It is difficult to park here and you would waste a lot of time trying to get in (and even more to get out!).

You can easily spend a day in Assisi/Santa Maria degli Angeli. If you get good weather you can go up to the hermitage above Assisi and then on to the National park where you get a fabulour view of the whole of Umbria. Down the other side of the mountain you can stop in Colle Pino (beautiful) on the way down to Spello.

There are plenty of other smaller towns to visit (e.g. Spoleto) that are easier to manage than Perugia but are well worth a visit.

Whatever you decide if you would like car parking dirctions or any further help please let me know.
Feb 6th, 2002, 04:03 AM
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I'll also be in that area this summer. We're actually staying in Perugia as a base for three days in the area. Someone equated Perugia with Aix-en-Provence which is a city I love. Anyone else think it is similar? We are staying at the Chocohotel (my kids found this in a guide book and though it sounded interesting, plus it has a pool on the roof). Anyone know of it? Can you walk from there to the old center of town or do you have to drive and then park. Helen, car parking directions would be very helpful. Thanks. Ann
Feb 6th, 2002, 04:58 AM
Helen Donegan
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Hi Ann,
The Chocohotel hotel is very popular - I have just left an Italian TV crew off there. It is a very short drive from the dual carriageway that links up nearly all the towns and main roads in Umbria.
You could walk to the centre of Perugia but it is all up hill, and very steep hills at that! A real killer! The public bus passes the hotel every 20 minutes and in about 15 minutes you will be in the centre. The tickets cost Euro 0.62 and you can get them at the reception.
Feb 6th, 2002, 03:19 PM
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Thanks Helen. Any tips on areas of town that are most interesting? We like areas with old medieval feel, nice architecture, maybe some shopping and some inexpensive places to eat. But also anything young teenage girls might find interesting.
Feb 6th, 2002, 07:05 PM
Helen Donegan
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Well Ann
The most lively town centre in Umbria is in Perugia and in the evening there are lots of young people out, the atmosphere is good.
When exactly are you coming over?
Umbria Jazz in July is the biggest event in this area and is great for teenagers.
Let me know your dates and the ages of your children and I will look up events etc.
Feb 7th, 2002, 04:45 AM
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Thanks Helen. My kids are 12 and 18 and we will be there July 6-9. I was thinking of doing day trips to hill towns and spending evenings in Perugia.
Feb 7th, 2002, 05:14 AM
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We had a holiday in that area (stayed near Castel Rigone) in 1995 and it lingers long in the memory. I fell in love with Perugia and our daughter (16 at the time)pronounced it cool! We were there for the jazz festival in July so lots happening but also loved the national gallery of Umbria, the most perfect samll building ever- Oratorio di San Bernardino and the 15th century Duomo. Visited Assisi for the day. We thought it very pretty and there's the obvious glory of the Basilica di San Francesco but otherwise not much to do.
Just our opinion!!
Feb 7th, 2002, 05:50 AM
Helen Donegan
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Umbria Jazz starts on 12th July (until the 21st) so you are going to miss it Ann. The centre of Perugia will be very lively in the evening. Ask me when it is closer to time or look up the events section of my site which will be in function by then:

During the summer each town/village has their local fair (sagra) and they can often be great fun in the evening.

Visiting any hill town may not be the most exciting thing for teenagers. Assisi is much more than the basilica of St Francis - there are lots of places to see and parts that will let you glimpse heaven, San Damiano for one.

Lets keep in touch and I will send you information/ideas closer to the time. If you like I will send you my phone number and you can even plan you time when you arrive here.
Feb 7th, 2002, 07:49 AM
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Helen, Can you give recommendations regarding a good 3* hotel in or around Assisi?
Feb 7th, 2002, 08:21 AM
Helen Donegan
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Hi Jack
My favourite hotel in Assisi is the Hotel Giotto:
It used to have 4 stars and will have again soon.
The hotel Umbra has got very good reports on this board - I went to check it out for someone but didn't see a bedroom - it costs less.
It is extremely important that you have a room with a view in Assisi - you can open your shutter in the morning and fill your soul with the beauty.
I will be in Assisi over this weekend if you want me to check out any place.

Feb 7th, 2002, 08:56 AM
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Hi Helen! You seem to be very knowledgeable about this area. Maybe you can help me with two questions (or anyone else):

1. Do you have any recommendations for an inexpensive place to sleep in Assisi(less than 60 EUR for a double) with a private bathroom? We are spending two nights in Assisi from Feb 27 - March 1. La Rocca, Il Duomo, and San Rufino are open and have availability, but I haven't seen many personal recommendations. Alexander is open but it's a bit more (about 80 EUR). Does view to the countryside matter in the wintertime?

2. We might have time to do a day-trip from Assisi to another town nearby. I have read good things about Gubbio, but have heard conflicting info regarding direct bus service from Assisi. If Gubbio is too far to do a daytrip by bus, what are your thoughts on Spello?

Thanks! (and I promise to do a trip report when we get back).
Feb 7th, 2002, 10:13 AM
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We did a day trip from Assisi to Gubbio last year. We had to change busses in Perugia, which was OK ,as it gave us time to check out the historic center.
Feb 7th, 2002, 10:21 AM
Helen Donegan
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Hi Mariarosa
I have lived in this area for the past 10 years and visited Assisi regularly before that - so I should know it!
I have seen the rooms in La Rocca and was very impressed. There is also a lovely view from most of them.
Gubbio is quite possible but, as has been stated, you have to change in Perugia. That isn't such a big problem.
The road to Gubbio is a bit curvey in parts.
Feb 8th, 2002, 07:40 AM
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Thanks Helen for he helpful information!

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