Hotel Umbria, Perugia **
This hotel in Umbria is situated in the heart of old Perugia, the medieval city centre of Umbria's provincial capital and offers two-star charm and comfort only a short walk away from Perugia's main street, the Corso Vanucci, where crowds throng around pavement cafes and restaurants. View hotel
Double rooms from €35
Golf Hotel Colle della Trinita', Perugia ****
The Golf Hotel, Colle della Trinita' is in wonderful rolling countryside outside medieval Perugia ... deep in the green heart of Italy. View hotel
Double rooms from €89
Hotel Bonazzi, Perugia ***
Right in the centre of the historic Umbrian city of Perugia, the Hotel Bonazzi is a recently restructured 17th century palace in the middle of the old town. Just a short walk from the Piazza IV Novembre, this bijou hotel also has great access to the medieval Fontana Maggiore and... View hotel
Double rooms from €49
Perugia retains a fine medieval centre, though this capital of the eponymous province in Umbria has grown on the fruits of its successful industry in recent years (Buitoni being among the major employers). You can safely ignore the sprawling suburbs though and enjoy a rather buzzing Umbrian city with a large student population (the Universita Italiana per Stranieri, or 'university for foreigners' considerably adds to the cosmopolitan nature of the town, as does the summer Umbria Jazz festival).
Head for the central Piazza Italia and main street of Corso Vannucci to get your bearings. At one end is the huge and rather stark square of Piazza IV Novembre, and the equally plain Duomo, the baroque facade and interior repaired after the 1983 earthquake. In the square, see the remarkable Fontana Maggiore (the fountain taking in Old Testament, Aesop's Fables, you name it). Opposite is the enormous Gothic Palazzo dei Priori, from whose windows criminals were once hurled to their deaths ... summary justice indeed. Other fascinating medieval buildings include the Sala dei Notari, Collegio della Mercanzia and Collegio di Cambio (the old money exchange).
There is a superb gallery in the Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria (works by Perugino of course, plus Duccio, Fra'Angelico and Piero della Francesca). Dig into the Etruscan roots of the city by visiting the Pozzo Etrusco behind the cathedral, and check out the church of San Severo, with Raphael's 'Holy Trinity and Saints'. Wander into the old town, very atmospheric around Via dei Priori. Here you'll see the spikes on which medieval miscreants heads were impaled. Bear in mind that in 1265 Perugia was the birthplace of religious zealots The Flagellants and one can see why historian Sismondi dubbed the Perugians 'the most warlike people in Italy ... preferring Mars to the Muse'. Make time to see the Arco di Augusto gate, the 15th century Oratorio di Sant'Agostino and 5th century church of Sant'Angelo. Corso Cavour has San Domenico (the town's largest church) and, nearby, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale dell'Umbria and 10th century San Pietro basilica.