My mum, dad and Elliott came to visit me in Perugia from Thursday 6th April to Thursday 13th April. A week is a pretty long time to have anyone stay in Perugia as a holiday as there isn’t much to do in the city especially with a 5 year old! So before they arrived, I planned a few things for us to do. Annoyingly I couldn’t miss any more university so there were some days I had to let them know what to do and how to get their whilst I went to a full day of lectures. I’ve attached the list of things we planned to do at the bottom, it’s got some useful information on it such as the address, entrance prices and times and how far away from Perugia it is by car.
On Thursday 6th my family arrived in Perugia at 11am and were shattered from the very early flight from Stansted. By the time they had arrived at the hotel, unpacked and headed into the city it was 3pm which is a really awkward time in Perugia due to the pausa. The only place we could find to eat was Caffe Turreno which is just on the back of the Duomo. We had some pizza and Elliott fell asleep before we went back to my flat to have a little rest before having an early night.
Friday 7th was a very Elliott orientated day where we visited Parco Dei Dinosauri Matelica and the Grotte di Frasassi. We arrived at the caves just after a tour had begun and the next one was not for 3 or so hours so we drove to the Parco dei Dinosauri to pass the time. The dinosaur park was basically a field with life size dinosaurs in, even though each of the dinosaurs were fenced off, we were the only people there and the person running it was nowhere to be seen so we lifted Elliott over the fences where we were able to take some really nice photos.
Elliott has been studying dinosaurs since the start of September as part of his curriculum in year 1 so for him it was a really interesting place to be!
We then drove back to the caves in time for the tour. Elliott and I went into the caves whilst my parents ate at a restaurant. The caves are the biggest caves in Italy and I would recommend a visit! The group we were in for the tour were all foreign so everyone was given a headset with the tour in the own language however I mentioned that I could understand Italian so I had my own personal explanation in Italian from the tour guide… I didn’t understand much as a lot of it was really specific vocabulary however Elliott listened in English and then let me know what was going on!
On Saturday 8th we went to Florence which is a two-hour drive from Perugia, we didn’t plan anything to do in Florence and instead we wondered around the city. We visited Florence Cathedral and went inside which was free. We then wondered the city and walked past Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, Galleria dell’Accademia, Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio, Loggia dei Lanzi, Piazza della Repubblica where Elliott went on the traditional merry-go-round. We ate near the Duomo and had some gelato before heading back to Perugia.
On Sunday 10th there was the Festa del Tulipano at Castiglione del Lago right next to Lago Trasimeno. Its only a half an hour drive from Perugia and the weather was incredible so it was a day not to miss! Once we arrived at the lake we went for a walk around the edge of the lake where we came across the place where you can get the boat to Isola Maggiore, one of the islands on the lake. Whilst we waited for the boat, we had lunch in the café next to the dock.
The ticket for the boat is 8-9€ return to the Isola and I think it’s cheaper if you go from Passignano instead. Once on the island, you can explore the churches, the castle and the island itself. Beware of the walk up the rocky hill to get to the top, but the view from the top is worth it! We stayed on the island for a couple of hours before getting the boat back to Castiglione del Lago.
As it was a ‘festival’ day at the lake, there was plenty to do and we relaxed next to the lake whilst Elliott went on the bouncy castle and slide that had been set up right next to the car park. We didn’t go into the historical old town in the end as we bumped into some other Erasmus students from Perugia and they said there wasn’t a single tulip insight in the centro storico!
For Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th, I had lectures so my parents and Elliott visited Citta’ della Domenica and Assisi. They said the zoo was quite good considering it was in Perugia! There was loads of space and the view from top of the zoo was the best they had seen (they said it was better than the ones I’d shown them around Perugia!). They visited Assisi which is only a short drive from Perugia however they struggled to find parking at first as like many Italian cities, the historical centres are car free. I’m not too sure if they visited many of the churches but they’re worth a visit if you do go! In the evening we attempted to visit the chocolate factory in Perugia, however we arrived too late and you need a pre-booking before you go!
My family’s last full day here was Wednesday 12th, we visited Valdichiana Outlet Shopping Village, it should have been a 50 minute drive but there was an accident on the motorway and we ended up being stuck for nearly 2 hours before everyone on the motorway had to do a ‘U’ turn before driving the wrong way down the motorway to come off at the last junction! It was a strange experience but we eventually arrived!
When we arrived back in Perugia Mum and Dad went back to the hotel to pack and Elliott and I went for a trip on the MiniMetro, we took it down to the last stop and then got back on to come to the top. Elliott loved it as it was like a mini rollercoaster! We also took a little trip around the city where Elliott bought some postcards to show at school. We then went back to my flat where I had prepared him a little Easter egg hunt with clues, each egg had a clue to find the next one and the final egg was a giant kinder egg which are his favourite!
We then met up with my parents to go for dinner before all going back to the hotel.
Things to do in and around PERUGIA
MARMORE WATERFALLS (Cascata delle Marmore)
– waterfall built by the Romans. Water is turned off and on throughout the day.
– Adults €10, Child €7
– There is also the Marmore Caves (guide €5)
– Weekdays -open 10-17h, water turned on 11-13, 16-17
– Weekends -open 9-22h, water turned on 10-13, 15-18, 20-21
– ADDRESS: BELVEDERE SUPERIORE, VOC. CASCATA 30, TERNI
– 95km from Perugia, 1h15m drive
CITTÀ DELLA DOMENICA (zoo)
– a zoo a few kms from Perugia, 40 hectares with all kinds of animals (not in cages)
– Monday – Friday (some attractions open) 10:00-18:30 Adults €10, Child €8
– Weekends (all open) 10:00-19:00 Adults €16, Child €12
– ADDRESS: VIA COL DI TENDA, 140 – Perugia
– 8km from Perugia, 15m drive
PARCO AVVENTURA NAHAR (adventure park)
– mini ‘go ape’ (percorso junior), full size ‘go ape’ (percorso sensazioni), climbing wall (parete arrampicata)
– Kids go ape €10, climbing €7, all three €20
– Open Saturdays 10:30-17:00
– ADDRESS: VOC. ROSCIANO, 25, 05031 ARRONE
– 100km from Perugia, 1h20m drive
LAGO TRASIMENO (Lake Trasimeno)
– a big lake with two islands. Isola Maggiore js the easiest to get to, it has a few bars and restaurants and you can walk around the island in one hour. Boats can be taken from Tuoro, Passignano and Castiglione Del Lago.
– There is also a castle and an old city at Castiglione Del Lago
– €FREE – Lago Trasimeno
– €8.10 return boat ticket (boat times to go: 11.10, 12.30, 14.55, 16.15, 17.35. To return: 11.50, 14.15, 15.35, 16.54, 18.15)
– ADDRESS: CASTIGLIONE DEL LAGO, PROVINCE OF PERUGIA
– 55km from Perugia, 50m drive
THE ‘GROTTE DI FRASASSI’ and DINOSAUR PARK (MARCHE)
– caves are impressive, easy tourist route that lasts for 75 minutes.
– Adult €18, Student €14, Child >6 €FREE
– Entrance 10,11,12,14.30,16,17h
– ADDRESS: Grotte Di Frasassi, Parco Naturale Regionale Gola Della Rossa e di Frasassi, Località Gola Di Frasassi, 60040 Genga AN
– 70km from Perugia, 1h drive
– In the same area, 9km from the cakes, there is a dinosaur park called ‘le pietre del drago’ the park is 13 hectares, there is museum, a picnic area and a restaurant.
– Open from 9am – sunset everyday
– €5 per person entry
– ADDRESS: Parco Dei Dinosauri Matelica, Le Pietre del Drago. SP 256 Muccese al Km 29,700, 62024, Matelica MC
– 70km from Perugia, 1h drive
– Bomarzo park of monsters. It is a very large garden with weird statues.
– Open everyday 8.30-19:00
– Adults €10, Child €8
– ADDRESS: Mostri Park, Località Giardino, 01020 Bomarzo VT
– 115km from Perugia, 1h30m
PERUGINA -CASA DEL CIOCCOLATO(chocolate factory)
– chocolate made in Perugia called Baci (kisses), you can go on a tour around the chocolate factory and get to eat loads of chocolate!
– Monday – Friday 9-13, 14-17.30
– Saturday 10-16
– Adults €9, Child €4
– Best to go on a weekday as weekends there is nobody working in the factory so you don’t get to see things being made!
– ADDRESS: viale San sisto 207/C, località san sisto, Perugia.
– 15km from Perugia, 25m drive
OTHER PLACES TO SEE
– Florence (Firenze in Italian)
– Assisi (a small town close to Perugia, meant to be one of the most beautiful and picturesque towns in Umbria, it’s a UNESCO world heritage site)
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