You might remember that Perugia was not my favorite day trip from Rome – if anything, the distance alone would probably make it a better day trip from Florence. But, it’s worth visiting, if only to check out the freaky train station waiting rooms. I’ve only been to Perugia once, and only for a short time; but, without further ado, here’s what I have to say about getting there and eating – my two favorite subjects. All other information should be treated as highly suspect, as you’ll see after the jump.
1. We took the 9.36 train up, getting us in at 11.39 (if the train had not been late and we had not been stuck in Foligno). The train back left at 17.18 getting us in at 20.03. Like I said, it’s probably easier from Florence – and cheaper, as it ran us about 30 euros each round trip. Also, I highly recommend finding a train that is a direct shot, so you don’t get stuck in Foligno (although it was a very cute town).
2. The tickets to all public transport are available from a booth to the left of the train station once you exit. It kind of sits out there in the piazza. I’m sure the tickets are also available from the newspaper stand inside the station as well. They’re amusingly called UP tickets – for “Unico Perugia,” and I’m sure not in reference to the limitless mountain in front of you – and I forget how much they cost, but they’re good for everything and they probably were not that much.
3. As is my wont, and which I do not recommend if you actually care about seeing, you know, the sights, we did not really consult the map or do any research at all. Don’t be like me – do your homework and you’ll see more. But, once you get to the top, it’s a spectacular view, and that was enough for me.
4. Regardless of our aimless ways, we made it to the Piazza IV Novembre, which was pretty amazing. Stroll around and drink in the vibe.
5. We were ready to eat by this point, as we had really woven in and out of little streets to get there. We plunked down at da Cesarino, directly in the piazza off to the left. I don’t normally recommend eating in a popular piazza – it tends to be overpriced, overly precious and seriously lacking in quality (yet another one of my dogmatic things that also was shattered in Orvieto) – but it was in the shade, had outdoor seating, and was packed with local business people. Those are all good signs to me.
We had a large bottle of water, two delicious pastas and a side dish, which ran us 22.50 euros total. Ha, about that side dish – we saw the guys next to us had these potato frittery looking things, and we ordered what we thought was that, just to try them – but instead out came, with our pasta, a small dish of eight perfectly hand-fried potato chips. Hahahaahha. Busted.
There was a pizzeria in the back of the piazza, but it was a little chintzy looking, the prices were the same and it had tourists drinking Cokes outside. I’m sure it’s fine, but… you know. No.
6. Mr. Pants, future husband of frequent commenter Ms. Pants and my traveling companion on these recent trips, was sitting facing the piazza and during our meal, noticed that people kept passing the restaurant, turning a hidden corner and coming back around with delicious looking gelato. We decided to check it out and found this:
Which was manned by the nicest gelato guy ever, and was indeed delicious. I highly recommend it.