Perugia tourist information and main sights


Perugia cathedral

Piazza IV Novembre and
the Cathedral of San Lorenzo


Perugia Fontana Maggiore

Fontana Maggiore and
Sala dei Notari

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A few words of caution regarding Perugia

Perugia is the home of two large, well-regarded universities, the University of Perugia, founded in 1944, and the Universit 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 to Greve 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.

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