Curious about Perugia’s past? You can buy one of the boring, same-old-thing tourist guidebooks and wade through paragraphs and pages full of popes, frescoes, and little else…or you can read about Perugia’s social history on the new book Home Street Home: Perugia’s History Through Its Streets. It’s an alphabetical list of all the streets and a brief description of what happened there, and why they have their names (Pig Street? Bride Street?). The book is available at the Feltrinelli and Morlacchi Libri (right across from Caffè Morlacchi) for €12.50, but we have some free extracts here, too, courtesy of the publisher.
Piazza Grande (Big Piazza)—Known today as Piazza IV Novembre, this was originally called Piazza Grande. Perugia’s medieval leaders had little imagination for street names, but they did host some pretty cool events here. Read about bull fights and a guy bicycling across a wire stretched between the duomo and the town hall here (Piazza Grande).
Piazza Grimana—This piazza hasn’t actually been officially known by this name in over 125 years, but everyone still calls it that. Banished Scottish pretenders to the throne await you in this extract (Piazza Grimana).
Via Baciadonne (Kiss-Women Street)—Notice that’s kiss women, not woman. A sort of Perugian lovers’ lane—find out where it is here (Via Baciadonne).
Via Cartolari (Papermakers Street)—You can’t print books without paper…(Via Cartolari)
Via del Labirinto (Labyrinth Street)—One of the coolest buildings in Perugia, with all sorts of cool terra cotta decorations, is hidden away in this side steet of Corso Cavour. Read about it here, then go find it! (Via del Labirinto)
Via Pinturicchio—Bits and pieces of Etruscans, plus a little piece of Fascism (Via Pinturicchio).
Via del Porco (Pig Street)—Who were the “little Sirs of the Ranieri family” and why did the City of Perugia let them into the market every day? Find out here (Via del Porco).
Via della Sposa (Bride Street)—What is the tragic story of the bride whom this street is named after? ( Via della Sposa)
Via della Viola (Violet Street)—Who put violets on that windowsill? Read about Perugia’s first traffic jam (Via della Viola).