Pub entertainment schedules change as often as Italian political alliances so look out for flyers and posters to keep abreast of what’s on. If you can manage to back-translate the mangled English of these documents into Italian it usually helps to understand what they are talking about. Most nightspots are desperate to pull a crowd so if you have a hot idea that you think might work, go ask them.
One day you too may be standing in front of the Uni for hours on end offering badly-written flyers to the unwashed.
Remember to look at our events/what to do in Perugia calendar.
Dempsey’s > Dempsey’s is the place to be to watch all of Perugia drink on the cheap and it’s the easiest place to make friends. Be sure to introduce yourself to Andreas-your hard rock host. You wouldn’t expect a man who likes bands with names like “Muncipal Waste” and “Cattle Decapitation” to be a simpaticone, but he’s been voted Perugia’s nicest guy four straight years. This is the place for the cheapest (and best quality) cocktail along the main street, or just hang out and have a beer before heading to the steps. Centrally located in Piazza Danti across from the front of the Duomo.
Elfo’s Pub (the place to beer) > Best place for craft beers in Perugia. Although it’s been through many incarnations, the actual sala of Elfo’s is the oldest pub in Perugia, founded in the storied year 1968. It was a circolo (like a private club) for a while, then the first vegetarian restaurant in Perugia: in the ‘70s a now-famous zen monk handpainted its buddha on the wall. Luckily for all of us, it’s now public. Go down via dei Priori a bit and take your second left into via Sant’Agata, to number 20. Enter and find a cozy sala (note the bike hanging-touch it for good luck) and good-natured manager Natale. You’re here to relax and listen to rock with a capital R, dangit. They have six different beers on tap as well as around 200 different beer (Belgian and America too!) in bottles, all at very reasonable prices. Boasts the best Guinness in town, and is now serving Indian Pale Ale as well. Happy hour until 21:00 with a pint of your favorite blond at a special prices. They also have a kitchen for fried stuff and panini. Drop by every day of the week from 20-02:00. Oh, and that screen’s for sports, too, so if you’re feeling deprived of the NFL, look no further.
Caffè Morlacchi > I can’t hear that name without thinking of the Morlocks from H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, but no little grey men will spirit you down to their underworld if you go there. It’s an intimate if sometimes crowded place populated with teachers and students from the Faculty of Humanities just across the way. The owners are ready to make you up a great drink or share a laugh. Morlacchi gets cultural with poetry, quality concerts, and art exhibitions – drop by to find out when. They have an aperitivo every day, with a dj or live music (often jazz and blues) on the weekends. Hannah’s table is in front of the window in the front left – but if she’s not there you can have it. If you have a chance to stop by for a cappuccino in the morning, try their fantastic cornetto alla Nutella. Best in town. Predictably, it’s at Piazza Morlacchi 8, open 8am-1am every day except Sunday, when hours are 5-10pm.
The Last Word > Mixology Bar with Arabic atmosphere; Here you can taste delicious cocktails prepared by experts while sitting on a swing hanging from the ceiling. It’s in Via della Stella, 3 (off Piazza Morlacchi), open 6.30pm-1.30am
La Perla del Deserto > It’s probably easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than to recreate the ambience of an Arab teahouse in Italy. Despite the lighting, Mahmoud has made a reasonable job of it so far…like most things less than 2000 years old around here, it’s a work in progress. Get stuck into Arab cakes like basbousa, assorted teas, fruity hubble-bubble pipes and Turkish coffee while you lounge with your harem (harem not provided) on the exotic cushionry. Belly dancing on Thursday evenings and Latin American Fridays. Closed Mondays, otherwise open 18:00-02:00 at Corso Garibaldi 106, 075.947.2299
Reset > Italians would crawl miles over broken pottery to drink good coffee, so don’t bellyache to me that reset is a bit out of town. 20 minutes’ walk away at Via d’Andreotti (go down via Pascoli next to Gallenga and keep on goin’) gets ya summa dat joe wid giò. Lots of shiny bits, fancy lounges, chic styling and even a red carpet entrance. Exotic beers as well and outdoor tables for the cigaretterie. Glam it up, baby boo.
Kandinsky Pub > This place is half artsy, half funky, the pub of Perugia’s leftwing scene, but also its goofballs. Silvia likes it and so did I, from the moment I saw the art nouveau lettering on the outside. It’s at Via Enrico dal Pozzo 22. To get there, go to Porta Pesa and drop a small rubber ball. It will roll across the intersection and down Via xiv Settembre (towards Palazzina Prosciutti, for students at the University for Foreigners). Just ten metres from Porta Pesa, go left down the metal stairs; at the bottom go straight and then your second left. Kandinksy is named for a famous russian expressionist and shows it – there’s lots of art on its multicolored walls, as well as lots of artsy Italians.
Lacio Drom (ex “Il birraio”) > One of Perugia’s claims to fame, this classy place is in all the quality guidebooks. At the birraio the beer’s brewed fresh in the huge copper kettles you can see inside the door. It has a relaxed atmosphere unlike most of the city’s subterranean pubs, there are even windows with a great view. They also have a large room downstairs, complete with eclectic furnishings and even more of that great beer (though you’ll find fine wines and cocktails if you wish). From behind the duomo, take the middle road (the only one that rises), Via del Sole, and don’t stumble off to the right. It’s almost at the end on the left (number 18 after the street turns into Via delle Prome). Open every day but Monday, 20-02:30. Be sure to check out the birthday book on the left as you enter the bar.