Cloister of Stars (1571), St Peter's Basilica (10th century), Perugia, Umbria, Italy

Getty Images/DeAgostini

Cattedrale e Abbazia di San Pietro


South of the town centre, past the Porta di San Pietro, is this atmospheric 10th-century basilica complex. The basilica, overlooked by a landmark bell tower, is stunning inside, with opulent displays of gilt and marble and some wonderful works of art, including a Pietà (a painting of the dead Christ supported by the Madonna) by Perugino.

To clear your head afterwards, take a stroll or picnic in the serene Orto Medievale gardens, behind the basilica.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Perugia attractions

1. Orto Medievale

0.02 MILES

Little known to visitors, Perugia's medieval gardens are entered from behind the Basilica di San Pietro. During the Middle Ages, monasteries often created…

2. Basilica di San Domenico

0.46 MILES

Erected in the early 14th century, Umbria's largest church is an imposing vision, with its distinctive bell tower and a 17th-century interior lit by…

4. Giardini Carducci

0.65 MILES

At the southern end of Corso Vannucci is this tiny park, with expansive views across the city's rooftops to the countryside and cypress-cloaked hills…

5. Rocca Paolina

0.67 MILES

Commissioned by Pope Paolo III in the 1540s, this fortress wiped out entire sections of a formerly wealthy neighbourhood. Its insides have long since been…

6. Palazzo Baldeschi al Corso

0.76 MILES

Originally dating from the 14th century, Palazzo Baldeschi features a series of palatial rooms decorated with stunning Murano chandeliers and frescoes…

7. Nobile Collegio del Cambio

0.82 MILES

Seat of Perugia's Moneychanger's Guild between 1452 and 1457, the extravagantly adorned Nobile Collegio del Cambio has three rooms: the Sala dei Legisti …

8. Ipogeo dei Volumni

0.83 MILES

About 5km southeast of the city, the Ipogeo dei Volumni is part of the Palazzone necropolis, a vast 2nd-century-BC Etruscan burial site. The tomb, which…