Perugia, more on reno, market day in Umbertide

A lot has happened in the last couple of days. Yesterday morning I said we were headed for Perugia. We left and it was pretty sunny but by the time we got there it had gotten blustery and cold with glowering skies. It did not really rain though, just spitted a few times. I need to get some warmer clothes!

We were headed to scout out the MiniMetro. We found it with no problem. It is small with only 6 stops and goes from the bottom of the hill near the stadium to the very top of the hill town in the center. We purchased our ticket and boarded. It’s fun to watch them operate. They attach themselves to a continuously moving cable. When they reach a station they unhook and small tires convey them to the platform and stop. Then they propel them forward until they hook back onto the cable. They run about every 2 minutes so no waiting. They reach the end of the line then spin around on a turntable and go back. Very steep trip up to Perugia. Takes about 15 minutes to go from end to end with free parking at the bottom and it drops you right at the top in the center of town.


Arriving in the center on a spectacular overlook of the countryside from up there we head up just a short way to the main area of town. We visited two churches. First was Chiesa di Filippo Neri. I had heard it was incredibly ornate. And it was. I was sorry to see huge cracks in the domes which could have just been in the frescoes, but who knows.


We walked up the steep narrow streets. It is really a beautiful town with hundreds of tiny, almost cavelike streets.


We visited the Duomo, or the main cathedral. It was enormous.


Then we visited the National Gallery of Umbria. If you want to see pre and renaissance art this is the place to go. The works start in about 1230 AD and work up to the 18th century. It is almost all religious in subject matter. Many of the works were beautifully rendered, the colors vibrant. But it was all meant to scare the crap out of the people. Their lives were dominated by the church. I never saw as many “Adoration of the Christ”, “Escape to Egypt”, “Annunciation”, “Cruxifiction”, “Flagellation of Christ” and “Christ going into Heaven” as I’ll ever need to see again! The subject matter varied little. The saints changed over time. I did enjoy it, but I was very done at the end. The first picture is the Griffon which is the symbol of the city. Reminded me of Buckbeak for any Harry Potter fans out there.




We spent 2 hours in the museum! Then headed out to find lunch. We tried two of Luther’s recommended ones, both were closed, either for good or for lunch that day. We fell back on Da Cesare where we had dined with the Gang on our last trip to Umbria. We ate inside since it was so cold outside. The food was classic Umbrian and we split a mixed Bruschetta antipasti and both had pasta. It was good. Since we returned we have gotten a good recommendation for our next trip for Bottega del Vino from our friend John in Montone. It sounds great and we look forward to trying it.

We headed back on the MiniMetro and then home where we had a meeting with Emanuele at 4:30 at the apartment. We met up with him and his partner Paolo and the Electrician and the Plumber. I had sent a rather curt email in the morning about the fact that the sofa was STILL uncovered which may have lit a little fire under him because they covered it while we were there. We had discussions about the pantry space. It will be a nice big space and he has good ideas for shelving across one whole wall and then on the otherside for part of it. We explained that we wanted some floor space dedicated to the cats which is always a priority. So all is well at Via Grilli – for now.

Today we did a bunch of errands. We first had Cappuccini at Bar Mary and did people watching at the market. Then I did my shopping to include tomatoes, potatoes, onions, arugula, and those red and white beans that are so good. Look at all these peppers!!


Then we got our porchetta pannini. That stuff is like CRACK! I thought about it all week since last Wednesday. This time Luther didn’t make the mistake of not getting one. Don’t you love the pig face!? Poor pig but I have to see he was much appreciated in his final form.




Next we hit our favorite seafood stand to buy fish for dinner tonight. We got whole sea bass to try.

Then we split up with Luther going to the barber to get his first haircut. It cost €8.00 (!) It looks way better than the scalp job he got just before we left at the hair cuttery. I went over to the shopping part of the market to see if I could buy some warmer clothes. I scored two nice hoody shirts that are more like sweater material, one has a zipper and is black, the other purple. They cost €3.00 each (!) This stall, like many, you just dig through piles of clothes to find stuff. Then I hit a nicer stall. Everything was hung up and it was nicer quality. I bought a quirky pair of pants with a tweedy look and rolled up bottoms. It is stretchy material, snug in the legs. And a pretty sweater (beige) with a matching infinity scarf. It is very long tunic style. Maybe now that I have an Italian haircut and Italian market bought clothes they won’t immediately know I am foreign! Nah, it’ll never happen 🙂

We headed to the bank next to put down a 50% deposit on the lighting for our house and dropped it off at Emanuele’s office with Paolo. Whew! all done and glad to get back to the apartment to eat our Panini, get out of the cool weather and read a bit.