A few words of caution regarding Perugia
is the home of two large, well-regarded universities, the University of
Perugia, founded in 1944, and the Universitą per Stranieri
(University for Foreigners). The large student population has,
unfortunately, attracted drug dealers,
the town centre being dominated by north Africans and the
outskirts by Nigerians, with overall control being in the hands of the Calabrian
'Ndrangheta. The presence of drug wholesalers in turn attracts
addicts, giving Perugia the highest rate of drug overdose deaths
per capita in Italy.
Prostitution also mars the great beauty and pleasant
lifestyle of the area. Young African women dot the sides of the
country roads (rather than the town itself), with the road leading to the 13 C Antognolla Castle, about 15 km from
Perugia, being particularly notorious. This phenomenon is
becoming widespread in Tuscany. Even the road from Florence
in Chianti, through Ferrone, currently
(2016) has at least ten African prostitutes visible
daily at changing points along the forested parts of the road.
The confident demeanour of these women together with their evident
independence provides little indication that they are acting
under coercion nor, for that matter, that they have any fear of the police. Nevertheless, the authorities might ask
themselves whether they really want this kind of thing to be
part of the "Tuscan experience".
Neither of these two aspects of life in Perugia are particularly
prominent and they should not discourage a visit (nor a period
of study at the universities). However, don't be surprised if
you should encounter the telltale signs of the lower side of
life here from time to time.