Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
In the very centre of the Piazza IV Novembre stands the Fontana Maggiore. It was designed by Fra Bevignate, and father-son team Nicola...
Piazza IV Novembre
The centre of Perugia - and therefore the centre of Umbria - is Piazza IV Novembre. For thousands of years, it was the meeting point for...
Just north of Piazza IV Novembre, you can venture down into a 37m-deep well. Dating from the 3rd century BC, it was the main water...
Bottega del Vino
A fire or candles burn romantically on the terrace, while inside live jazz and hundreds of bottles of wine lining the walls add to the...
This is a popular meeting place for students, with an indoor salon and umbrella-topped outdoor tables where you can munch a panini and...
Cattedrale di San Lorenzo information
Lonely Planet review
Although a church has been here since the 900s, the version you see at the northern end of Piazza IV Novembre was begun in 1345 from designs created by Fra Bevignate. Building of the cathedral continued until 1587, although the main facade was never completed. Inside you'll find dramatic late Gothic architecture, an altarpiece by Signorelli and sculptures by Duccio.
The steps in front of the facade are where seemingly all of Perugia congregates; they overlook the piazza's centrepiece: the delicate pink-and-white marble Fontana Maggiore (Great Fountain). Another of Fra Bevignate's designs, the fountain was completed in 1278 by famous sculptors Nicola and Giovanni Pisano. Bas-relief statues grace the polygonal basin, representing scenes from the Old Testament, the founding of Rome, the seven 'liberal arts', the signs of the zodiac, and a griffin and lion. The griffin is the symbol of Perugia and the lion that of the Guelphs, the Middle Ages faction that favoured rule by the papacy over rule by the Holy Roman Empire.