Heart of Perugia

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This is Perugia’s city hall – on the right – and the main street, Via Vanucci.  Note how the main entrance into the building is on the second floor, up some very steep steeps.  No railings!  Well I guess the government figures you are smart enough to not kill yourself.  Plus they would distract from the handsome simplicity of the sculpture.  Great place for people watching, those steps.

On the ground floor of the building, each of the arched doorways leads to a small local business. In your city imagine if, in return for a building that lends dignity to the city, the workers inside, and the citizens they serve,  the community made a deal whereby it would lease commercial space inside city hall and use the proceeds to improve city hall or even construct a new one.  For a nation that appears to care about nothing but business and money, it sure seems quaint that we are so careful not to mix government and business, even when such a deal could help both.

Via Vanucci, below,  is car free, thanks in part to the mini-metro, see previous post.   It is one of  Italy’s great pedestrian streets.  For a late medieval street in a hill town, it is exceptionally wide.  It is a concave street, leading to high points on each end.  I estimated the street is about 45 feet or so wide and about a quarter of a mile long. The far end  offers a view overlooking the city, valley and hills surrounding.  The other end, behind me in this photograph, is the main square on which the town hall and cathedral are situated.  The town hall is directly on the right – those are the small shops located on the ground floor.

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Below is the northern entrance into Via Vanucci – the cathedral is on the right, and the town hall with the tower in the distance.  The facade of the cathedral was never finished.  I wondered if this was a statement of Perugia’s desire to be known as a more secular town.

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