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Rocca Paolina – secret Perugia

  • Rocca Paolina – secret Perugia

    A mysterious series of tunnels provides an early sense of Perugia’s nooks and crannies. This helter-skelter of cobbled alleys and arched stairways is essentially all that remains of a once imposing fortress. Known as the Rocca Paolina, the stronghold was commissioned by Pope Paolo III Farnese in the 1540s. Its creation led to the destruction of a prosperous neighbourhood. Churches, monasteries and around a hundred houses were razed and recycled to create the fortress. The citizens of Perugia had to wait until 1848 for the first, partial demolition of the hated symbol of Papal power, with its final destruction only achieved in 1860 with the Unification of Italy.

    Today, these vaulted foundations form part of a popular route that funnels visitors into town from Piazza Partigiani. Riding the series of escalators (scale mobili) through the walls is a typical urban experience. It feels like gaining entry to a lost world, with secret doorways revealing the odd shop or venue for art exhibitions.

    Address: Piazza Matteotti, 18 Loggia dei Lanari, 06100 Perugia
    Web: http://turismo.comune.perugia.it/poi/rocca-paolina

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