Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Umbria and the neighborhood, November 2015

Twelve days in Gubbio and day trips roundabout



You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

A day out in Perugia in Umbria, II

A brief pause, with a fine view of the Fontana Maggiore, for an 'OT DAAG' (hot dog), mit senf, in an Iranian shawarma shop. And then on to the amazing Pozzo Etrusco.

Across the street from the front of the Duomo, we're looking for the Pozzo Etrusco, or Etruscan Well. It's this way.

Down the alley a little ways

Past the Shamrock Irish pub and karaoke bar

Down into the tufa we totter on wet steps

Vertigo . . .

. . . and no wonder. The well is an engineering feat, dating from Etruscan times in the city and its construction has been estimated at the 4th to 3rd century BC.

The volume of the well is enormous (it may originally have been a cistern), and it's at least 36m deep. It was sufficient to supply the whole city, as it was at that time.

We are so out of here!

Clever Etruscan engineering

Back up to the alley

The Etruscan well is also called the 'Sorbello well' because it's under the Casa Museo di Palazzo Sorbello (on the right) in the Piazza Piccinino next to the Duomo, a 17th century noble Bourbon family's palace now kitted out as a museum, closed when we were there. That early 16th century well structure is, we presume, the present surface manifestation of the same well we've just visited, but . . . nothing is ever certainly certain.

This is a market area built out in mid-air behind the big buildings of the Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, with a very long staircase down to the next level of the streets.

The view from the market

Another view from the market

There's not much for us here. Maybe the Marilyn Monroe T-shirt.

The large building across the Via Matteotti is the "new" Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, dating from about 1480.

Perugia street scenes

The Piazza Cavallotti on the Via Cesare Battisti (named for the Italian patriot executed in Trento in 1916 by the Austrians, not the Italian fugitive recently arrested in Brazil), just down the hill east of the back of the Duomo

Up the Via Maestà della Volte behind the cathedral, in the heart of the medieval section

(We've seen some informal claims that the ubiquity of connecting arches amongst so many of these buildings was a venerable tradition of earthquake protection.)

Still on the Via Maestà delle Volte, where it passes up to the left to the Piazza IV Novembre and the Duomo

But Kristin's turned down to the right.

Down the medieval alleys

The Via Ritorta

Pre-modern building codes

By the church of Saint Agatha on the left, apparently out of use but with works still going on

More street scenes

Frescoes in one of the small chapels near the Via dei Priori (but which chapel it is has got lost in the mists of memory)

A canine/feline face-off

Kristin's left a necklace for restringing at a local jewellers in the Via dei Priori, and we're trusting they'll be there when we come to pick it up. No one's there at the moment, though.

Just time for a cup of coffee up the street, and the jewellers should be back soon, we hope.

The Via delle Streghe, Street of the Witches

The Via Bonazzi

Kristin's waiting for her restrung coral necklace and I'm back to the Sala dei Notari in the Palazzo dei Priori.

It's open now -- there's a special cultural event (entitled "A Professor"; imagine), and I've slipped in amongst the gathering throngs.

Beautiful vaulted ceilings, from the 1290s

The frescoes, repainted in the 19th century, represent the coats of arms of the succession of podestà who administered the city from about 1295 to 1424.

Back to the Piazza Italia and the government offices built over the foundations of the Rocca Paolina

Everybody's favorite fat equestrian: Vittorio Emanuele II, King of Italy

-- Who's that fat equestrian?

The carousel overlooking the southern part of the city; shouts of laughter, and fear

Down into the foundations of the old fortress, the Rocca Paolina

On the way to the escalators to the carpark

With bits of Etruscan wall sticking out here and there

To the Partigiani carpark


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Umbria trip