Life in Perugia has a lot to offer other than studying Italian and meeting people from all over the world! Here you can find some cultural distractions.
In the historical center of Perugia we have now four small cinemas.
Cinema Sant’Angelo in Corso Garibaldi soldiers on: head up Corso Garibaldi to #97 and hang your next right in Via Lucida. For movie info call 075.448.77 or even better look at www.cinegatti.it.
There’s also Cinema Zenith at the end of Corso Cavour, mostly film d’auteur and lately also in orginal language (www.cinemazenith.it).
Cinema Melies (check their schedule here), also with original language movies,
A new entry is Postmodernissimo in Piazza del Duca (www.postmodernissimo.com)
UCI Cinema (Borgonovo mall) is outside the center.
First check out the UCI cinema website for listings, and then take the R bus from Piazza Italia. It’s about a twenty minute ride, and you can ask the bus driver to let you off at the Centro Borgonovo, though it’s hard to miss. Make sure you check the schedule for returning buses, or you’ll have to take a taxi after the movie. Note too that like almost everywhere in provincial Italy, all films are dubbed into Italian. The Space cinema is another movie theater is just a bit outside Perugia inside the Gherlinda mall in Corciano-Perugia, huge screens and drink holder; you want the G1 bus from Piazza Italia.
During the summer there are also movies in the open-air theater in the Frontone Gardens, across from San Pietro at the end of Corso Cavour (where it’s called Borgo XX Giugno).
Bookstores with foreign books are abundant, though they don’t all have fantastic selections. Check out La Feltrinelli in Corso Vannucci, Grimana Libri across from the Stranieri, and L’Altra Libreria in Via Ulisse Rocchi. They all have Zach’s two mysteries, Peril in Perugia and Death by Chocolate (see his shameless description in the “Perugia Personalities” section). Here at Little Blue, we can recommend a number of good books about Italy, but most of them are hard to find in Perugia. The exception is Fire on Mount Maggiore, a thriller by John Parras, which you can find at the Feltrinelli. The Augusta Library (a minute’s walk from the fountain) is a good place to study in silence and to read. Go up Via del Sole from just behind the Duomo, then straight on Via Delle Prome and the library is almost at the end of the street on the right.
Another one we can recommend is Home Street Home: Perugia’s History Told Through Its Streets. Far from being another boring tourist guide, this book tells about Perugia’s past by describing what happened in each street. Learn about Pig Street, Bride Street, and Piazza Grimana—we have some free extracts here (Home Street Home).
You’ve probably had your share already (see the “(Non) Dating Guide”) but if you want to simply watch it, you have a few choices. The main theater in town is Teatro Morlacchi, which has good student rates, but there’s also Teatro Sant’Angelo (in a sidestreet off Corso Garibaldi). Once again, to make it worthwhile you need to know Italian decently well.
If you’re not yet convinced that living in Italy for a while will turn you into a raving drama queen, you can participate in the Human Beings theater group. HB has been running for twelve years and brings together people from different countries and backgrounds to explore their creative potential. At some times of the year they do workshops only, while at others they work towards a public performance piece. Contact resident director Danilo at 349.861.8557 or visit the website, www.humanbeings.it. If you decide to go, it’s in the public school in Viale Roma, right after the Esso station. Enter, go down the hall, around to the right of the courtyard and down the stairwell.
Need some tunes? We go to Musica, Musica in Via Oberdan 51 (across from La Libreria, just before the steps), which has the best selection, new and used, cds and vinyl, and recent imports. It also used to be the stable of the palace of the Perugian nobleman who lived above it. It’s open 9:30-20:00 every day except Sunday. Live music is pretty standard in pubs, so drop by your favorite watering hole or look for the ubiquitous flyers around town. Italian airwaves are jam-packed with stations so you are certainly not stuck for choice. State-run radio 3 is pretty austere but worth consideration by those who seek a solid model for spoken Italian. Radio Subasio is king of the local stations with wall-to-wall pop. Want to hear great lectures about music? Check the Uni per Stranieri schedules for the Storia della Musica lectures (C1 and C2) of Professor Ragni, an excellent lecturer. He often has unregistered “visitors” in his class, so drop by. He also gives concerts.
Classical music concerts are occasionally put on by the comune for free, and inexpensively by the Fondazione Perugia Musica Classica, also called “amici della Musica.” As usual, this year there will be a lot of world-class concerts, with international-level talent. The concerts will be held here in Perugia in venues like San Pietro, San Domenico, and of course the stunnng Teatro Morlacchi. Their office is in Via Danzetta 7 (a sidestreet of Corso Vannucci): Just ring the bell and go up to the second floor, the employees are friendly and eager to please. Get a program there or look on the website, www.perugiamusicaclassica.com, for more details. You can also call 075.572.2271.