Monday April 11
I woke up and packed and said goodbye to Mateo at the office of the convent after paying the remainder of my bill. I caught the vaporetto to Ferrovia, which is the stop for the train station. Dragging my bag up the steps, I was grateful that it had wheels and that I only had one bag.
The Frecciargento 9409 for Perugia was scheduled to leave at 10:27 and had stops in Padua, Bologna and Firenze, where I would have to change to a local train, which would arrive around 4pm.
Venice has been so lovely. This was another beautiful warm sunny day, and I enjoyed watching the early morning activities on the Grand Canal, all the boats carrying their supplies to their destinations. The farmers’ market was open at Rialto, and the locals were on their way to work.
I had the good fortune to sit next to an American on the train to Firenze, and he had gone to school in Perugia 20 years ago at the University for Foreigners. He was in the wine business and had been to Verona for Vin Italy, the largest wine expo held every year in that town. Since he comes to Italy frequently, he knew a lot about Perugia and train travel, so of course I was happy to learn whateverI could from him. The time passed quickly and it was fun sharing experiences with someone else who had such a passion for Italy. Thanks Joe for a memorable train ride.
In Florence I boarded a smaller train and by 2:13pm I was on my way to Perugia. By 3:30pm I started to notice the hill towns of Umbria at Castiglione and Camucia-Cortona. By 4pm we had arrived and I got off at the 2nd stop in Perugia, which was the main station. Once there I found that I had to buy a bus ticket and catch the bus to the historic area (centro) of Perugia which was high above the area of the train station. Thanks to the local students who communicated with me in Italian and a little English, so I took the right bus.
I arrived at my 13th century hotel by 5pm, unpacked, then headed up to the rooftop garden to experience the panorama views which were awesome. Next I left to explore the city and walked along Corso Vanucci for la passegggiata of course! Perugia is a very old city and it is a college town with the University for Foreigners here, so the streets are filled with young people. I like it.
I had a wonderful dinner at an outside table at Caffé Perugia, focaccia with rosemarino and insalata mista. Afterwards I went back to my room, did some laundry, updated Facebook, and relaxed for the rest of the night.