Do you think of Perugia as anti-American or police state? Many Americans only know Perugia through the Amanda Knox trial.  It was on television daily. I came to Perugia with some trepidation and not sure what to find. It certainly crossed my mind to stay close to the hotel. Thank goodness that I did not allow fear to prevent exploration!

Perugia is a large city – 600,000 people. It is a center of education and one of the most respected judicialcenters in Italy.  More importantly for me was the amazing connection to wine. The hotel where we stayed was Hotel Gio – a wine, music, and chocolate lover’s den. Décor, furnishings, food, events are all wine themed. Furniture was made from wine barrels; walls were lined with wine racks; foods were prepared with wines from the local region. We felt right at home!

Another passion they share is American jazz expressed in giant piano keyboard floors, halls of t.v.’s with jazz music videos playing, and giant murals of jazz greats. Toe tapping chop sticks across the keyboard floor took me back to childhood joys of hop scotch – muscially speaking.

Old city center is a must see. The fountain centerpiece from the 12th century acted as an educational calendar for Etruscan citizens and was the inspiration of the Lungoratti Rubesco wine label. For us it provided a beautiful backdrop as we sipped espresso at Sandri, serving guests since 1860. You can take the mini-train up the hill to the city center. Please visit wine pleasures for more.