December has officially arrived, and the Fall 2011 students have two weeks left in Perugia and at the Umbra Institute. Knowing how quickly time will fly between exams, final papers, and saying goodbye to new friends, here are the Umbra Staff’s Top Five Must-Do’s before you leave…
5. Taste free chocolate at the Perugina factory.
Most of the Italian classes will be touring the home of the world-famous chocolate and hazelnut baci this week, but if you missed out, pick up a bus ticket and go on your own for a tour and tasting!
4. Celebrate the Holidays in Gubbio with the World’s Largest Christmas Tree. Every year since 1981 the Umbrian town of Gubbio lights up the world’s largest Christmas tree, stretching across the mountainside between the Basilica above and the town below. The tree is lit for the first time at 6:30 pm on December 7th. Gubbio is easily reachable by a 1-hour bus ride from Piazza Partigiani (a one-way ticket costs about 4.50 euro), and the sun sets in December just a few minutes after 5 pm. Make a quick trip one evening or stay over in Gubbio for the night.
3. Walk through the “underground city,” over the Roman aqueduct, and into the Duomo. We walk past these landmarks around town everyday, but have you ever actually been inside? Perugia’s most interesting historical sites are all free and right here in the center: the Roman Aqueduct, the Etruscan Well, the Tempietto and Tower of Sant’Angelo, the Duomo, and the Rocca Paolina. Talk to Zack if you need help finding these spots.
2. Eat Pasta alla Norcina, Torta con Salsiccia ed Erba, and Hot Chocolate from Augusta Perusia!
Pasta with Umbrian sausage and truffles, typical Umbria torta, and to-die-for hot chocolate… you can’t go home without trying these Perugia specialties. And in the winter, throw in some freshly pressed olive oil, vino novello, roasted chestnuts!
1. Ride the Ferris Wheel in Piazza Italia. For three euros you get an unforgettable view out across the valley below the centro… what could be a better way to remember Perugia? (And yes, this is a ferris wheel, despite the massive “Carousel” sign at the front. Oh Italians.)