Ipogeo dei Volumni
Perugia dominates the Tiber Valley from a high, irregular and rough hill: the particular feature of the land has generated a wide variety of urbanistic situations, giving the town a very special aspect.
The rich artistic and cultural patrimony and the natural environment make Perugia an unique city of major importance, and this from the beginning of its history.
Perugia lies on a hill inhabited ever since the prehistoric times; it was first a settlement of the Umbrians, then it passed under the rule of the Etruscans, becoming one of the most important cities in the High Tiber Valley.
Conquered by the Romans, Perugia was deeply involved in the civil war between Antonio and Ottaviano; this latter took possession of the town in 40 B.C. and this, after being heavily destroyed, was given the name of "Augusta".
After the fall of the Roman Empire Perugia was destroyed again by Totila in 547; then it belonged to the Byzantine dominions, and finally it became a powerful independent city-state allied to the Papal State.
The 14th century was characterised by violent struggles between Nobles (Beccherini) and Populars (Raspanti) and by the war against the Pope who wanted the Umbrian cities to be under his rule; the war finished with the Peace of Bologna in 1370, when Perugia was forced to recognise the Papal authority.
Also in the following centuries the town continued to be divided into various rival factions fighting to come to power: the Popular government leaded by Biordo Michelotti was replaced by the sway of the soldier of fortune Braccio Fortebraccio; the leading families were always making conspiracies and massacres, causing a grave moral and political decline.
In 1540 Perugia was placed under the direct control of the Papal State and pope Paolo III ordered to Antonio da Sangallo the erection of the Rocca Paolina, symbol of the papal power over the city.
The papal rule continued – brief breaks excepted during the French occupation and the Roman Republic – until the formation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.
Perugia today is a modern and cosmopolitan city known all over the world because of its cultural events and the University for Foreigners.
Proud of its historical traditions and the beautiful buildings of the past, Perugia let itself be admired in its thousand picturesque corners where present and past integrate one another and create an unforgettable atmosphere.