Making our Home for the Month in Perugia, Italy

On our first morning in Perugia our host, Alessio, met up with us and took us on what turned out to be a 3 hour walking tour of the city. This is a serious fucking hill town so I will not have to worry at all about how much I'm eating. Literally the town center of Perugia is on top of a massive hill and the rest of the town is built down the side of the hill until you reach the base where the train station is.

The first stop was coffee and pastries. We literally just ducked into a hole in the wall bar halfway down the alley around the corner from our apartment. I had the most perfect latte. I bet a whole lot more people would not put sugar or weird syrups in their lattes (and coffee cup sleeves would be non-existent) if it was made properly. A real latte should be served in a drinking glass that you would be able to grab with your bare hand and immediately drink. If your coffee is served to you too hot to drink, this means that the milk is burnt and all the natural sugar is destroyed. Properly steamed milk is still sweet and perfectly compliments the taste of the strong espresso. 

Afterwards we weaved in and out of the hilly streets with Alessio pointing out the best places for pizza, gelato, pasta, authentic Umbrian food, and wifi spots. Since Perugia has many dramatic changes in elevations there are several amazing terrace viewpoint spots where you have incredible views of the countryside. 

He left us in the main square and we sat at a sidewalk cafe and had pizzas. The pizza was so good that I ate nearly a whole one all to myself. We went back home after that to shower, rest, nap, and cuddle for 3 hours. 

After our siesta we went to Grom, which is famous for its gelato. It was some of the best I've ever had in my life and I'm realizing also that "real" gelato isn't the silly shit in the big metal tubs decorated with the fancy fruit and crap. It's actually completely out of sight in metal tubs that are sitting in an ice water bath to keep them the absolute perfect consistency (like Grom does). 

We wandered around for a bit and then sat outside at a restaurant in the main square for dinner. I had a caprese salad and Kris had this fucking ridiculous pasta dish. It was penne, cream, amazeballs sausage and freshly grated truffles. I almost ordered a fucking plate for myself. Tomorrow. 

The first half of the week we felt really unsettled and out of our element, obviously.

It's funny to know you’re going to be here for a month because it's sort of an in-between time frame. It's long enough that it's not the same glitz and glamour as being here on a typical vacation where you're in and out of restaurants, eating gelato three times a day, and generally not concerned with "real life" questions like is there anywhere I can buy batteries on a Sunday. But yet, we're here for a short enough time that it influences decisions like not buying the litre of olive oil or the big jar of honey knowing that half of it will go to waste.

For the first few days we were sort of walking around like zombies - as I'm sure most would feel having "moved" to a city you'd never been to, to occupy an apartment you'd never seen before. We were just getting the lay of the land. Who has the best coffee. Who has the cheapest cup of decent tea. The freshest pastries. The best dinner deal. Where are the free wifi spots. The good gelato.

And the first few nights in our apartment were super weird. This place is like a goddamn cave. The walls are literally 3 feet thick

Perugia, Italy

There is only one window - in the giant room where the beds and dining table are. It's like an impenetrable fortress. The ceilings are really high too. So we'd lay in bed at night, in this huge room, surrounded by all of this ridiculously huge furniture, hearing our voices echo against the tile and it was really fucking weird.

On the 5th day, we finally felt like we knew what the fuck was going on. We had figured out the rhythm of the city, our calves had stopped burning, corners looked familiar, we could look at a map and know where we were and how to get where we were going.

Our routine has generally been:

  • Sleep until 10

  • Throw open the curtains and cuddle for awhile

  • Eventually roll out of bed and eat a caprese salad, a piece of fruit and some yogurt

  • Around noon we head to a cafe for coffee and pastries and we sit and write for a couple of hours

Perugia, Italy
  • Around 2 we decide what's for lunch - a pizza to go or something from the grocery store to prepare at home.

  • From 2:30ish to 5ish we are at the apartment where we watch an episode of Boardwalk Empire, nap or lounge, cuddle, and read.

  • Around 5ish we go back out to get gelato

Perugia, Italy

After that it's a mix of figuring out dinner, watching the sunset, taking walks, hanging out in one of the piazzas, eventually ending up back home to watch another Boardwalk Empire, read, talk about what we're going to do when run out of Boardwalk Empire's, and cuddle until we're sleepy.

We’ve also watched lots of amazing sunsets and had to frequently hang in the piazza at night mooching off the free wifi so we can download more entertainment:

perugia 2014

Next week we're planning on venturing out for a day trip, but for now we're content up on this hill.