On Day 9, the group decided to split up to take separate day trips. SMS and I headed down to Perugia area, roughly following several suggestions in the 36 Hours in Perugia articles (2011 and 2017).
First, we drove to Lake Tragasmio, which was pretty and quiet. It was a little less happening than the guidebooks would indicate- maybe due to the shoulder season? We parked and walked on a path along the lake near Monte del Lago. Renting a bike would be pretty awesome since the paths were in great shape. Alas, the town was pretty dead so we grabbed a snack, sat for a bit and then headed out. The lakeside outdoor cafe was tranquil and an awesome spot. I’m glad we went but, again, a littler quieter than I was expecting.
Next, we headed to Perugia, which I apparently am completely unable to pronounce correctly since everyone kept correcting me. We parked down the hill from the old city and took the mini-tram up.
We used the two 36 Hours in… articles to guide our city walking. The 2011 article is good for the tourist basics. The 2017 articles is a little too cool for school but did help me find the gelato place Lick so all was forgiven. We found out about the Rocco Paolina, the 14th century fort with intact foundation walls that underlay and support the city above. There are even escalators inside as it serves as an underground passage from a parking garage up to one of the main streets.
Aboveground, we walked through some beautiful piazzas and visited the Etruscan well, which we saw from the outside and from within the well itself. The arch and support beams within the well were an engineering marvel! We also saw a fountain at one of the old Etruscan walls, which date from 6th-3rd century B.C.
After touring the old city, we went back to our car and drove to Montone to admire the cute city during daylight hours. The recommended restaurant was still closed but we stopped in at Bar Aries. We ordered two Aperol Spritz and sat in the square for a bit. Guess how much for two spritzes? SIX Euros! Amazing! It even included bar snacks (potato chips but still, what a deal!).
We headed back to the villa for dinner. The rest of the group had gone to Assisi after their initial destination was a bit of a bust. Due to a leisurely morning of hot breakfasts, workouts and showers, they had arrived during the (very) extended lunchtime of (approximately) noon-4. Since SMS and I still wanted to go to Assisi, we decided to go the next day.