What to do in Perugia and its surroundings, for a weekend or a longer stay!

Here is a detailed guide on what to see in Perugia and its surroundings. Explore one of Italy’s most beautiful art cities and enchanting nearby villages.


Together with Tuscany, Umbria is one of the most popular regions in Italy. Its history, art, traditions, nature and good food attract tourists in search of culture, beauty, excitement and moments of leisure. If you come around here, you can discover wonderful places, taste local dishes, and enjoy natural landscapes.

In this guide you will find a complete itinerary on what to see in Perugia and its surroundings at any time of year, with a preference for the seasons of spring and autumn, with a temperate climate and fewer tourists.

Near Perugia you can visit other historical villages, surrounded by woods, perched on promontories overlooking expanses of hills, vineyards and olive groves. Some of these are UNESCO sites, such as Assisi, the Basilica of San Salvatore in Spoleto or the Temple of Clitumnus in Campello, to name but a few.


🧳 Travel and savour Perugia, with Italia Delight!


The Umbrian territory has also become famous on the small and big screen. Many films and dramas have been shot in the medieval villages of central Italy. Let us mention just a few: in Todi some scenes of the film directed by Nino Manfredi “Between Miracles” (1971). Between Gubbio, Terni and Castelluccio di Norcia, scenes were shot for the film “Brother Sun, Sister Moon”, by Franco Zeffirelli (1972). In Assisi, “The Hawks and the Sparrows” (1966), by Pier Paolo Pasolini. There would be many more to remember, but let us move on to other artistic (and culinary) forms of which Umbria can be proud.

In a humble grocery store in Perugia, in the early 1900s, the great fashion designer Luisa Spagnoli gave birth to Perugina® with the “Luisa” chocolate first and the “Bacio Perugina” later. In the 1930s, the entrepreneur founded the fashion company that is still active and very prestigious.

But now it is time to leave for Perugia, the town that can be discovered in its most suggestive corners by walking around it.

Follow our guide to discover Perugia and its surroundings to visit. 👇


Top things to do in Perugia and its surroundings

We have planned this itinerary with both the attractions not to be missed during a day trip in mind, and all the destinations that can be reached in no more than an hour and a half by car to visit Perugia and its surroundings.


1. Perugia

Perugia gathers all its beauties in the historic centre. It is a small medieval town but with a dynamic life that offers many cultural highlights. Here there is one of Italy’s oldest universities.

The most important places to visit in Perugia are Piazza IV Novembre, the main square where you will find the Fontana Maggiore (1275 and 1278) with the three nymphs holding the amphora from which water flows.

Linked to the fountain is the former Aqueduct (1245) that fed it by taking water from Monte Pacciano. Today, the aqueduct is a fascinating route that can be taken starting from Fontana Maggiore, precisely from Porta Sant’Angelo, passing under a bridge characterised by arches and low houses.

The square is also home to the Palazzo dei Priori and the Cathedral of San Lorenzo (start of construction 1345 – end of construction 1490) with its impressive Baroque façade. While the interior is in late Gothic style. The Cathedral cloister houses the Capitular Museum: 25 rooms dedicated to collections of sacred objects, paintings and sculptures from the 11th to the 19th century.

The underground tour of Perugia, the Etruscan and Roman acropolis, is very suggestive, starting from the Cathedral cloister to discover the ancient walls of an Etruscan temple from the 2nd century BC, a street and a Roman domus.

Art also takes centre stage in the National Gallery of Umbria with an exhibition itinerary from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, allowing visitors to admire the works of famous artists such as Duccio di Buoninsegna, Piero della Francesca, Beato Angelico, Pinturicchio and Perugino.

Not to be missed also the underground tour of the Rocca Paolina, an ancient fortress built by Pope Paul III; the Renaissance Oratory with a Gothic interior commissioned to Agostino di Duccio by the Franciscan friars in honour of Saint Bernardino of Siena; the Etruscan Well, a work of hydraulic engineering that seems to date back to the 4th or 3rd century BC. The well can be visited by reaching a depth of 37 metres from the stairs.

Visiting Perugia is a great opportunity to discover the origins of the world’s most famous chocolate. With or without children, a not-to-be-missed experience is the chocolate tasting and a visit to “La Casa del Cioccolato della Perugina” where the Perugina® factory and the Perugina® Historical Museum are located.

Every year Perugia becomes a destination for tourists who want to visit the town during the famous Eurochocolate event held in October and March.

As mentioned above, our guide has tips for those who intend to continue their tour of Umbria to discover what to see near Perugia.


2. Corciano – 19 min from Perugia

flickr, Umbria Lovers


Corciano is one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in Italy”. You can access the medieval village through the two gates of Santa Maria and Porta San Francesco. The impressive features are the houses built of limestone and travertine.

The route starts from Corso Cardinale Rotelli, the main street, during which you will come across several palaces, such as the Palazzo Municipale, the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, the Palazzo dei Priori and the Palazzo della Mercanzia.

Churches to visit include the Church of Santa Maria Assunta (13th century), which houses Perugino’s work “The Assumption” (1513); the church and former convent of San Francesco; and the Church of Sant’Agostino.

Several museums can also be visited in Corciano: the Museo Paleontologico, with exhibits from the Etruscan-Roman period; the Museo della Casa Contadina; the Museo della Pievania, in the Church of San Cristoforo.

For those wishing to go hiking and trekking, there is nothing better than the Sentiero dei Mandorli (Almond-tree path), which runs along the ancient walls, giving a glimpse of Lake Trasimeno.


3. Deruta – 19 min from Perugia

Deruta is also one of Italy’s “Most Beautiful Villages” that still preserves remains from the Roman era. The village stands on a hill, boasting the centuries-old and world-famous production of artistic ceramics.

The tour begins by entering the village from Porta di San Michele Arcangelo and continuing along Via Biordo Michelotti, where you will come across the former Church of San Michele Arcangelo with its Roman-Gothic façade.

When you reach Piazza dei Consoli, you can pause to admire Palazzo dei Consoli (‘300), which preserves archaeological finds and architectural elements from the medieval and Renaissance periods. The Palazzo houses the Town Hall and the Municipal Art Gallery.

Opposite is the Church of San Francesco, Deruta’s most important religious building. The convent next door houses the oldest Regional Ceramics Museum.


4. Torgiano – 22 min from Perugia

things to do in perugia
flickr, Umbria On The Blog – MOO Torgiano


Not far from Deruta is Torgiano, a medieval village with Etruscan and Roman origins. In medieval times a military outpost, today Torgiano proudly ranks among the “Most Beautiful Villages in Italy”, famous for its wines, surrounded by hills of olive groves and vineyards.

The centre of the village is Piazza della Repubblica, where the most important monuments are located, including the Oratorio della Misericordia (1500), now an exhibition venue, and the Church of San Bartolomeo (13th century). Opposite stand several palaces: Palazzo Manganelli, the Palazzetto delle Manifatture Stocchi and the ancient home of the Falcinelli family.

In Torgiano, you can visit the Wine Museum (MUVIT), one of the most famous in Italy, founded in 1974, where you can discover all the techniques of viticulture. Younger, on the other hand, is the Olive Oil Museum (MOO), where you can trace the history of the olive tree, cultivation techniques and the transformation of olives into olive oil.

Not to be missed is the symbol of the town, the Torre di Giano (13th century), all that remains of the ancient castle and walls.


5. Spello – 28 min from Perugia

spello italy


In this review of what to see in and around Perugia, we cannot miss Spello. Once called Hispellum, this small town near Perugia still preserves intact its Roman origins: the city walls with their three gates: Porta Consolare, Porta Venere with the Properzio Towers, and Porta Urbica.

Once inside, one gets pleasantly lost in the maze of narrow streets that reveal churches, palaces and other monuments.

Among the religious buildings, you cannot miss a visit to the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore (12th century) with a beautiful Romanesque bell tower. The interior is in Baroque style, embellished by frescoes by Pinturicchio.

Palazzo dei Canonici (‘500) houses the Pinacoteca Civica – Diocesana where paintings, sacred objects, sculptures and frescoes can be seen.

Spello is famous for the historical-religious Infiorata, which is celebrated every year on the day of Corpus Domini (the ninth Sunday after Easter). During this celebration, the streets and squares of Spello become carpets of flowers.


6. Assisi – 30 min from Perugia



Famous for being the birthplace of St Francis and St Clare, Assisi is also one of the most beautiful towns around Perugia. It is no coincidence that it has been included among the UNESCO World Heritage sites.

We enter the town through the ancient arch of Porta Nuova, which takes us along Via Borgo Aretino. Eyes open for the first wonder among the local churches: the Basilica of Santa Chiara (1255-1265) in its Gothic style and rose-coloured façade. Inside, the Basilica you can admire important works including frescoes, the 17th century crypt with the remains of the saint, the crucifix painted on a wooden panel that is said to have asked St Francis to “repair his Church”.

The most important church in Assisi is the Cathedral of San Rufino, patron saint of Assisi, in Umbrian Romanesque style. The church stands on a square surrounded by historical buildings, and inside it houses the crypt with the saint’s relics and the Diocesan Museum.

In Piazza Inferiore di S. Francesco is the Basilica dedicated to St Francis (World Heritage Site), with its majestic Gothic façade. The Basilica is divided into two areas: the Lower Church (1228 – 1230) and the Upper Church (1230 – 1253). Here are frescoes by and Cimabue, and the crypt with the Saint’s remains.

The nerve centre of Assisi’s social life is Piazza del Comune, once the site of the Roman forum, and where today there are several important palazzi, including the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, the Torre del Popolo and the Temple of Minerva, or Minerva’s Church; Palazzo del Popolo and Palazzo dei Priori; and the Fountain of the Three Lions. Not far from here is Palazzo Vallemani, home to the Assisi Art Gallery and to the works of art by famous artists such as Giotto and Perugino.


7. Foligno – 36 min from Perugia

A visit to Foligno is concentrated in its historic centre, where churches and palaces are gathered together.

The hub of town life, in Piazza della Repubblica we find the neoclassical Palazzo Comunale; Palazzo Trinci (1389-1407), home to the Civic Art Gallery, Archaeological Museum and the Multimedia Museum of Tournaments, Jousts and Games; the Cathedral of San Feliciano (1201); Palazzo Orfini, which houses the Museum of Printing, where the first copy of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy was printed in 1472; Palazzo del Podestà, seat of the municipal magistracy since the beginning of the 13th century.

In Piazza Giordano Bruno is the Church of Santa Maria Infraportas, in Romanesque style, the oldest in Foligno. While in the former Church of the Holy Trinity in Annunziata is the famous Calamita Cosmica, a contemporary sculpture of a giant skeleton by Gino De Dominicis.


8. Montefalco and Bevagna – 37 min from Perugia



Montefalco is an ancient mediaeval village surrounded by 13th century walls, nicknamed the “railing of Umbria” because of its view of the Topino and Clitunno plains.

The name of the village derives from the passion for hunting falcons of Frederick II of Swabia, who lived in Montefalco in 1240.

But what makes this small town perched on a hill so popular are its wines, Sagrantino di Montefalco secco Docg, Sagrantino Montefalco Passito Docg, and Montefalco Rosso Doc, which it would really be a shame not to taste in one of the town’s wine cellars or wine shops.

The wines are also used to prepare typical local dishes, such as Montefalco risotto, strangozzi, and pappardelle al Sagrantino.

In Piazza del Comune, or Piazza del Certame, you will find the Palazzo Comunale (1270) with its 14th century loggia and bell tower that leads to the top to enjoy the view; the former church of San Filippo Neri, now the Teatro Comunale; the ancient Oratorio di S. Maria de Platea; several noble residences from the 16th century, including the elegant Palazzo De Cuppis.

Bevagna is an ancient medieval village that keeps its traditions intact. Surrounded by its ancient walls bordering the Clitunno river, the main square, Piazza Silvestri, is home to the most important buildings, the Roman Column of San Rocco and the 1896 fountain in neo-medieval style.

Worth seeing in Bevagna are the Palazzo dei Consoli, home to the Teatro Torti; the Church of San Michele; the Church and Convent of San Francesco; the chapel dedicated to the Madonna di Loreto; the Monastery of Santa Margherita and the Church of San Silvestro.


9. Montone – 38 min from Perugia

visit perugia
flickr, Klaus Bochem


Near Perugia is also Montone, a medieval village perched on a hill overlooking the upper Tiber Valley, among the 100 most beautiful in Italy.

A visit to Montone begins by entering through Porta Borgo Vecchio to reach Piazza Fortebraccio. Worth visiting in the small village are its ancient churches, the Church of San Francesco and the San Francesco Museum Complex, home to the Municipal Picture Gallery and the Ethnographic Museum, Il Tamburo Parlante (The Speaking Drum); the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta; and the Church of Madonna delle Grazie, outside the walls.

Among the most interesting events are the Umbria Film Festival in July, the international film festival; in October, the Northern Umbria Randonnè, a non-competitive road cycling event.


10. Todi – 39 min from Perugia

what to do in perugia
flickr, Christos Constantinou


Worth visiting around Perugia is Todi, a small medieval town perched on a hill, bathed by the river Tiber. The historical centre of Todi remains faithful to the medieval layout embraced by Etruscan, Roman and medieval walls.

The most important square in Todi is Piazza del Popolo, where various palaces and buildings such as the city cathedral, the 13th-century Cathedral of the Santissima Annunziata, the Palazzo del Capitano, the Palazzo del Popolo and the Palazzo dei Priori face each other.

In Piazza del Popolo you can admire the imposing and impressive Church of San Fortunato, one of the oldest, dating back to the early Christian period. It is striking for its façade divided into two parts, the upper part in stone, in Romanesque style, the lower part characterised by three portals decorated with bas-reliefs with historiated arches. Inside you can admire remarkable works: the frescoes, the wooden choir of the altar, the crypt housing the remains of several saints. Jacopone da Todi is also buried in the church.


11. Gualdo Tadino – 41 min from Perugia

what to see in perugia
flickr, Dorian


Gualdo Tadino, the small village at the foot of the Central Apennines, is known as one of Umbria’s most important ceramic centres. It is no coincidence that it is called “the City of Ceramics”.

The symbol of the town is the Rocca Flea, an ancient defensive fortress that houses the Municipal Art Gallery and the Ceramics Museum. In Piazza Martiri della Libertà, the highlight of Gualdo’s historical centre, are the 13th century Civic Tower and the Palazzo del Podestà, home to the “Pietro Conti” Regional Museum of Emigration.

The Cathedral of San Benedetto (13th century) can be recognised by its characteristic façade with three portals and a Romanesque rose window. A folkloristic event not to be missed is the Palio called Giochi de le Porte, held on the last weekend of September.


12. Castiglione del Lago – 42 min from Perugia

Near Perugia, on the shores of Lake Trasimeno, on a promontory surrounded by olive trees and hills, you can reach Castiglione del Lago. Its historical centre is worth a visit, winding through the picturesque alleys surrounded by medieval walls dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries.

Among the places not to be missed, Rocca del Leone, Palazzo Comunale and Palazzo del Popolo. Rocca del Leone is a fortress thought to be inspired by the Leo constellation. It is accessed through Palazzo della Corgna, a covered walkway that overlooks the lake and connects the two structures. Palazzo della Corgna, once a country residence, now houses a museum with beautiful frescoed rooms.

Also worth seeing are the two churches: the Church of San Domenico and the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena.

While on the lakeside, in the summer season, can be practised water sports such as sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, water skiing and rowing. From Castiglione del Lago, you can embark to reach Isola Polvese, the largest island of Lake Trasimeno, where you can visit the Medieval Castle and the Olivetan Monastery of San Secondo, dating from the 10th to the 14th century.


13. Lake Trasimeno and villages – 43 min from Perugia

lake trasimeno
flickr, Renato Pantini


Among the Umbrian hills there is Lake Trasimeno, one of the most popular holiday destinations for those visiting Perugia and its surroundings. The most beautiful villages in the Trasimeno area include: Castiglione del Lago, Città della Pieve, Magione, Passignano sul Trasimeno, Panicale, Tuoro sul Trasimeno, Piegaro and Paciano.

In addition to Isola Polvese, on Lake Trasimeno you can reach Isola Maggiore, by ferry from Tuoro, Passignano and Castiglione del Lago, and Isola Minore.


14. Trevi – 43 min from Perugia

Trevi is a medieval village, listed among the “Most Beautiful Villages in Italy”. It is located on a hilly promontory surrounded by olive trees. It is no coincidence that the village is known as “the city of olive oil”, famous for the production of extra virgin olive oil and black celery, a Slow Food Presidium.

One of the most sought-after activities in Trevi is a visit to the olive oil mills to witness all the production processes, from the entrance of the olives to the bottling.

At the entrance to the village is Villa Fabri, renowned for its stupendous frescoes in the halls and interior chapel, and for its wonderful garden with various species of plants overlooking the plain below.

In Piazza Mazzini, the most important square in the historic centre, you can see Palazzo Comunale, with a 15th century portico and the 13th century civic tower. Not far away, the Church of San Giovanni Decollato, in Neoclassical style, and Casa Petrucci, an elegant Renaissance building whose façade features profane scenes.

The 14th century Gothic Church of San Francesco was erected to honour the saint who preached in Trevi in 1213. The building next to the church houses the Pinacoteca Civica, with works by Pinturicchio and Vanni from Perugia, and the Museo Regionale della Civiltà dell’Olio.

In the oldest part of the village, on the top of a hill, stands the Cathedral of Sant’Emiliano (12th-13th century), the city’s first bishop and patron saint. Opposite the cathedral is Palazzo Lucarini, built in the 15th century and now home to the Museum of Contemporary Art and regular exhibitions of contemporary art.


15. Città di Castello – 45 min from Perugia

Città di Castello is a town in Upper Umbria located in the Tiber Valley. Another jewel to see in the surroundings of Perugia. Among the main places to visit is Piazza Garibaldi, home to the Palazzo Albizzini Foundation, a mid-15th century Florentine Renaissance-style palace that houses the Burri Collection.

Another iconic square is Piazza Matteotti, home to some of the most elegant buildings, including Palazzo del Podestà, Palazzo Bufalini, Palazzo Bondi-Mancini and Palazzo Cappelletti.

A few minutes away is the mighty Civic Tower (13th century), also known as the Bishop’s Tower, in Piazza Gabriotti, where you can see the Town Hall, known as Palazzo Dei Priori (1300).

Next to Palazzo Comunale stands the Duomo, dedicated to the patron saints, the Cathedral of St Florido and St Amanzio with the adjoining museum.

Palazzo Vitelli alla Cannoniera houses the Pinacoteca Comunale, the second most important regional museum after the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria in Perugia.


16. Gubbio – 45 min from Perugia

perugia things to do and see
sterlinglanier-lanier- unsplash


A medieval village near Perugia, famous for hosting the Church of San Francesco, dedicated to the saint who took refuge here after fleeing his father’s house.

The wonderful Piazza Grande, a peculiar square built on arches, is worth visiting. Gubbio is known as “the city of madmen” (as well as the “grey city” due to the colour of the limestone blocks), due to the friendliness of its inhabitants, who are very fond of games and parties.

Definitely worth a visit is Palazzo dei Consoli with its recognisable Gothic façade, now housing the Gubbio Civic Museum with an art gallery and a fine collection of ceramics; Palazzo Pretorio and Palazzo Ducale.

Gubbio Cathedral, the Duomo of Saints Marianus and James, built at the foot of Mount Ingino over a Romanesque church, is worth a visit. But those who love heights and breathtaking views can take the cable car from the centre of Gubbio to Monte Ingino, where the Basilica of Sant’Ubaldo is located, and where you can admire the town of Gubbio from above.


17. Nocera Umbra – 46 min from Perugia

Nocera Umbra is an ancient village located along the Topino valley, on the slopes of Mount Pennino, known for its mineral waters.

Worth seeing in the historic centre are the Cathedral with its Romanesque portal and the Church of San Francesco, built between the 14th and 15th centuries, now housing the Municipal Picture Gallery and Museum.
Other attractions are the Piervissani Library, the Church of St. John the Baptist in Gothic style, the Church of San Filippo and the Art Nouveau-style Municipal Theatre.


18. Spoleto – 49 min from Perugia

On the Sant’Elia hill, at the foot of the sacred forest of Monteluco, lies this splendid village, Spoleto, on the outskirts of Perugia. It is a city of art rich in history, but also very modern and international for the events it hosts, such as the Festival dei Due Mondi.

Among the things not to be missed is undoubtedly its fortress, Rocca Albornoziana, which dominates the entire historic centre of Spoleto. Near the fortress, you can see the Ponte delle Torri, the symbol of the city, once part of a Roman aqueduct, which today overlooks the course of the Tessino torrent.

In Piazza del Duomo, we come across the spectacular Duomo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, of very ancient origins (12th-13th century) built on the pre-existing Church of Santa Maria del Vescovato. To the left of the Duomo is the Caio Melisso theatre, the oldest one in the entire Spoleto.


19. Orvieto – 1h 3 min from Perugia

orvieto italy
flickr, Christos Constantinou


On a tuff cliff stands this village in the province of Terni, but still near Perugia. It is worth a visit for its architectural wonders and for the history one can breathe in its historical centre, the result of several civilisations that have met and followed one another since Palaeolithic times. The upper part of Orvieto is the historic one, which can also be reached by the Bracci funicular railway that leaves from the railway station.

The suggestive Pozzo di San Patrizio (St Patrick’s Well), which can be visited, is famous and not to be missed. It was designed by Antonio da Sangallo (an Italian Renaissance architect and sculptor) in the 16th century at the behest of Pope Clement VII, to supply water to the fortress and the city.

Walking along Via Cavour, you reach the Duomo of Orvieto, dedicated to the Virgin Mary of the Assumption, recognisable by its Italian Romanesque-Gothic façade, with mosaics on a gold background and a 14th century rose window. Inside you can admire the famous Chapel of the Corporal, the Chapel of San Brizio with frescoes by Signorelli, the frescoes of the Orvieto school from 1370-1380.


20. The Marmore Falls – 1h 5 min from Perugia

marmore waterfalls
flickr, Giacomo Galavotti


Near Perugia, about an hour from Orvieto and a few kilometres from Terni, you can the Marmore Waterfalls, among the highest in Europe (165 metres), inside a Natural Park (Parco Fluviale del Nera) made up of paths and trails ideal for those who want to venture out and go trekking, rafting, kayaking and climbing.

Access to the Marmore Falls is by payment, with opening times varying according to the season. Since it is a controlled flow, it is a good idea to make sure you can visit when the jump is at its full power, i.e. when the water jet is most powerful and creates a more scenic effect.


21. Norcia and Cascia – 1h 20 min from Perugia

Near Perugia is Norcia, a small village that is part of the Monti Sibillini National Park. The birthplace of St. Benedict, Norcia is also famous for its delicious gastronomic specialities. It is no coincidence that it is called “the city of the black truffle”.

But there are many other typical products in Norcia, such as lentils from the Castelluccio plateau, salami, sheep’s cheese, saffron, mushrooms, sausages and Prosciutto di Norcia PGI.

And of course Umbrian wines, which we have already mentioned, including Grechetto di Montefalco, Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG, Torgiano Rosso Riserva DOCG and Orvieto DOC.

Among the places and monuments not to be missed, Piazza San Benedetto is the town’s main square, where stands the statue of San Benedetto, the town’s patron saint. The square is overlooked by the Basilica of San Benedetto, built on the remains of an ancient Roman basilica from the 1st century, and the Palazzo Comunale (14th century), with the Cappella dei Priori inside, where the 1450 reliquary of St Benedict is kept.

About 20 kilometres from Norcia, you can reach Cascia, a small town of pre-Roman origins, famous for being the birthplace of Saint Rita. The village is considered one of the main centres of spirituality in Umbria, visited by many believers every year from all over the world.

Worth seeing in Cascia the Monastery of Saint Rita and the Basilica, the Church of Saint Anthony and the Church of Saint Augustine.

Now that you know what to see in and around Perugia, all that remains is to wish you a happy trip to Umbria! 😍


Cover photo: pixabay, evondue

Featured photo: pixabay, tonixjesse

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