For one day-Assisi or Perugia

Old Jan 24th, 2006, 04:32 AM
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For one day-Assisi or Perugia

I am having a hard time deciding which city to visit while I am in Italy. I don't have time in my itinerary to visit both. I only have one day available to visit either Assisi or Perugia. Which should I pick and why?
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 05:48 AM
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For us, it would be Assisi. But then we like churches and St. Francis is special. O

In fact, we would like to stay in Assisi for a week if we can find the right apartment with the view of the surrounding valleys.
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 08:57 AM
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Definitely Assisi. A much smaller town, with less walking, and far more art treasures: in the Upper and Lower Basilicas of San Francesco, as well as the Basilica of Santa Chiara and the Romanesque Cathedral of San Rufino, which is too often missed.

For a good but inexpensive meal, the Pallotta, down a few steps from the main piazza, the Piazza del Comune. For a more expensive and fancier meal, Buca di San Francesco.

In both cities, you have to take a bus from the train station up to the city, but they are frequent.
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 09:20 AM
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Haven't been to Perugia, so I'd choose Assisi.

Don't know what time of year you're going, but we were there late winter/early spring, and it was uncrowded and just beautiful. The art is dazzling, and the city itself is a treasure.

We enjoyed the food at Pallotta, as recommended by Eloise above. In fact, we also stayed at their barebones, low-cost hotel. Like baby2, if I could I'd stay a week and settle in, revisiting the churches (and the restaurants!) and doing some hiking in the area.

We took a cab from the train station.
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 12:17 PM
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We spent a week in Umbria late last summer/early fall and had day trips to both Perugia and Assisi. IMHO Assisi wins hands down. Perugia's main square is interesting and, if you're there on the right day, there are some museums to go through. The "skyline" from the walls of the old city looking over the Umbrian countryside is breath-taking. Then we were done.

In addition to the beauty of the basilica (upper and lower), Assisi simply had more ambience for us. Walking through the entire town was doable (and not something you'd want to do in Perugia), and gloriouisly beautiful (depending on what time of year you're there I guess - we were there when the geraniums were in bloom). Walking up to Rocco Magiore and then looking down at the rest of the town and the basilica was a highlight not to be missed.

Hope some of this helps - you might want to check out pictures (e.g., access ours from our trip report, go to others).

KC
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 12:20 PM
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Assisi!!! Probably my favorite place I've been in Italy.
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 12:28 PM
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Thanks everyone. Does anyone have any info. or preferences on getting to Assisi by bus from Florence vs. a train?
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 01:46 PM
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Agree with everyone above...Assissi is one of our favorite places.
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 01:58 PM
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I don't know about getting there from Florence, but if your itinerary includes Rome, it is very, very easy to get to Assisi from there. From Florence you can take a train and I think it's about 2 hours 30 minutes.

Check trenitalia.it. But you may be right; the bus may be the best way to go.
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 02:24 PM
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Haven't been to Perugia but have visited Assisi and was delighted by the experience; a really beautiful town. I was useing a rent car for transport and stayed the night at hotel on the plain below Assisi (like all old towns in Italy it is built on a hill), perhaps a mile from town (sorry but don't remember the name) and after dinner went for a walk admiring the beauty of a beautiful night and a beautifully lighted Assisi. Memories such as I have of Assisi are why I love to travel. As you can guess, I urge visiting Assisi.
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 02:43 PM
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This one is not even close to me: ASSISI. It will stay in your heart forever.
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 03:27 PM
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How absolutely remarkable, these unanimous responses.

I visited Assisi only once, when I was living in Perugia.

I never got tired of Perugia. (I was there last March and apart from resenting the EXTREME hilliness I thought it as extraordinary as I did 30 years ago.)

By contrast, Assisi left me cold. Perhaps it was just that I was in my extreme anti-clerical phase, a phenomenon of the '70s...........
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Old Jan 25th, 2006, 11:01 AM
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We took a train from Florence to Assisi and then a bus from the train station to the upper part of the city. The train trip went well and was not crowded when were there in May. I imagine the train would be a lot faster, but I'm not sure what the difference in cost would be.
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Old Jan 25th, 2006, 11:12 AM
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Interesting, tedgale! I think this is a hard question, because it so depends on what one wants to see/do. I have visited both places just twice. I loved Assisi and found it very moving (but found the hermitage where St Francis lived up on Mt Subasio even more amazing) but I could spend a lot more time in Perugia. It had a different feel to it than any other place I have been in Italy.
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Old Jan 25th, 2006, 11:16 AM
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Now that tedgale's spoken up...

I think that Perugia's getting short shrift here. I loved Assisi, and wouldn't have missed the Basilica for the world. Assisi is a perfect day trip destination, and I agree that it's an excellent choice.

However, I've also been to Perugia a couple of times and think it's a fine place. Very different from Assisi, but fine nonethelss. A wonderful art gallery (Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria), atmospheric streets, more than enough interesting churches and monuments (Collegio del Cambio frescoes, Fontana Maggiore, etc.). And as a university city and a much bigger place than Assisi, it has a lot more going on in terms of culture, food, etc.
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Old Jan 25th, 2006, 11:56 AM
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I have been to both places and love both so it is almost a toss up. I was surprised that so many like Assisi better than Perugia because I really like Perugia. I don't think you would be sorry that you visited either city cch. That is what makes visiting Italy so difficult. So many places, so little time!
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Old Jan 25th, 2006, 12:19 PM
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I'm also going to say that I think I'd pick Perugia. I found Assisi to be nice enough but kind of sterile almost, and almost too touristy. I think part of it was that there has been a lot of rebuilding after the earthquake a few years back so even though it's all stone, it's newer construction. I was there in 2002 and they were still working on things. I agree it's a nice town, but was not my favorite .

Perugia is a small city and has a lot of character. I loved the ambiance. The old town is surrounded by a lot of new sprawl, but once you get into the old section it's really wonderful.

Having been to both, if I were to go back to one, it would be Perugia.
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Old Jan 25th, 2006, 02:14 PM
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By the way, Perugia people, what is the name of the lovely, elegant cafe and chocolate shop on the main walking street leading up to the center piazza in the "old" part of town? (on the right side as you are walking up towards the museum etc). I have great photos of the amazing pastries in the window (and on the way to our mouths) but can't seem to find the name of this place...
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Old Jan 25th, 2006, 02:25 PM
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We stayed in Perugia in October and found it an excellent base for visiting other parts of Umbria. The city was okay, the museum a great disappointment. That said, it is head and shoulders better than Assisi; I would never voluntarily return to Assisi.

If it were me, knowing what I now know, I'd skip both of them and spend more time in Orvieto. Better yet, for something like you're not likely to have ever seen before, go the Civita.
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Old Jan 25th, 2006, 02:28 PM
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With the lovely wood and murals in the interior? Pasticceria Sandri.
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