Its origins go back to the Umbrian populations, but it particular to the Etruscan period during which the city was surrounded by walls made with huge boulders still visible nowadays. The walls had seven gates, but did not resist for long to the power of Rome. n the Roman times the city also expanded outside the walls. With the fall of the Roman Empire the city experienced dark periods leaving the green light to the Barbarian Invasions, during which the city endured the aggression of the Goths and then of the Ostrogoths with Totila that devastated the city. It then became a Byzantine stronghold. In the 13th century the congregation of the Benedictine monks founded several monasteries. In 1370 the city fell under the rule of the Papal State despite the strong popular dissent of the population. In the same period there was a continuous struggle between Guelphs and Ghibellines while the city was under the Lordships of the Visconti, of Braccio Fortebracci and then of the Baglioni. In 1540 the city was defeated during the “Salt War” and was forced to return under the dominion of the Pope. The papal dominion was interrupted by the arrival of Napoleon who declared Perugia capital of the Tiberina Republic. Subsequently the city participated to the popular uprisings of 1812 and 1848 against the Papal State. In 1860 Perugia was united to the rest of Umbria as part of the kingdom of Italy.
What to see
Its streets, its alleys, its walls are rich in history, symbolic works of the city are the Fontana Maggiore by Pisano and the cycles of frescoes by Perugino, Beato Angelico, Piero della Francesca and Benedetto Buonfigli. The National Archaeological Museum of Umbria set up in the convent of St. Domenico, with sections relating to prehistory, early history and to the Etruscan and Roman periods. The Rocca Paolina Museum, the Capitular Museum. The Rocca Paolina Museum, the Capitular Museum. The archaeological areas including the Etruscan Well, the Hypogeum of the Volumni, the Hypogeum of Villa Sperandio and the Etruscan Tomb of San Manno are not to be missed. The National Gallery of Umbria is also worth visiting with almost 3000 works including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, fabrics and jewellery that testify seven centuries of Italian history and culture with artists such as Perugino, Pinturicchio, Beato Angelico, Gentile da Fabriano, Duccio di Boninsegna and others. Finally it is also advisable to visit the Sala dei Notari, the Collegio del Cambio with the court’s wooden bench, with frescoes by Perugino inside and also the hall of the Collegio della Mercanzia.