In the heart of the Umbria region, Perugia is located on the top of a hill, in the valley of the Tevere river. The first human settlements date back to the Etruscan period (VI century b.C.): with its massive city
walls, was one of the twelve key cities of the Etruscan Federation, developed between the Landone and Sole hills. The Etruscan Arch and the San Manno and Volumni Hypogea still bear eloquent witness to the Etruscan period.
In the 1st century B.C. the town fell under Roman rule: in 40 B.C. the city was burned during the civil war between Octavius and Mark Anthony: it was later restored and rebuilt by the same Octavius (now Augustus Caesar), who named the town 'Augusta Perusia' to emphasise his dominion.
The XII century brought about radical changes in urban planning, with the town layout assuming its typical star pattern and the building of architectural gems such as Palazzo dei Priori and the Fontana Maggiore, as well as administrative changes, with the development of the circle of fortified villages that today still characterise the local landscape. In this period Perugia's prestigious university was also founded.
Among the most important monuments of the city, in addition to the Roman and Etruscan remains, we have to suggest a visit to the Fontana Maggiore, built in 1278, very beautiful for the elegance of its lines, the harmony of its form and its precious decorations; Palazzo dei Priori, a superb expression of the city's municipal spirit, was built between the 13th and the 15th centuries. The Rocca Paolina, a Renaissance fortress, based on the design by Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane. The Cathedral of San
lorenzo, built between 1345 and 1490, the Basilica of San Domenico, funded in 1304 and redesigned by Maderno in the XVII century, the Basilica of San Pietro, with its imposing bell tower in Gothic-Florentine style, are interesting too. Moreover the Church of Sant'Angelo, the Chapel of San Severo (with a fresco realised by Raffaello and Perugino), the Church of San Bernardino...in addition to the prestigious palaces (Collegio del Cambio, Collegio della Mercanzia, Palazzo Gallenga Stuart, Palazzo Cesaroni, Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, Palazzo della Penna, Palazzo Donini).