Ascensori > These are the lifts/elevators. There are the ones from near the Mercato Coperto that end up in a long tunnel that comes out next to the Galleria Kennedy (the tunnel under Perugia) – they are open 7-20:30 every day. The ones that you get from the Mercato Coperto are open every day 6-02:00.
Churches > In addition to regular masses in all the Catholic churches in Perugia, there are also a number of other congregations: Seventh Day Adventists, Christian Scientists, Baptists, Muslims, Bahà’i, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and a Jewish synagogue. Look in the monthly VivaPerugia (available at the tabaccaio for €.80) for more information. Contact English-speaking Samuel (338.308.3916 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to know when the Gruppi Biblici Universitari is organizing their next event. There is Catholic mass in English at Sant’Agostino.
Developing Film > Near the top of Via dei Priori (i.e. near Corso Vannucci) there’s a little place called Foto Color Plus at number 1. The friendly and cultured Daniela will help you with all your photographic needs. Among other services they do passport photos, printing of digital and telephone pictures and transfers to Kodak picture CDs. If you need small passport photos for an ID card and it’s outside regular business hours, go to the machine on the top floor of the Mercato Coperto. Accepts credit cards.
Echoes > I love this trick, especially on dates. Go to the provincial building on Piazza Italia, in the corner under the arches near the scale mobili. If one person stands in one corner of the arch, and the other in a different corner (both facing the wall), you can hear each other perfectly because of the acoustics. Give it a try (killer for dates!).
Florists > Need flowers, or even a cool bamboo swirl to dress up your apartment? Porta Pesa seems to be flower Mecca, with one florist on the Piazzetta and another through the arch and up Via Pinturicchio fifty meters on the right. Finally, there’s one next to the loggia of the Duomo (looking at the steps, move left past the statue on the end) and another in Via Bonazzi.
Font > The character a book is set in reflects not just utility but a desire to express a certain meaning. Graphic artist Matteo Brustenghi selected the font, Interstate, for the printed Little Blue’s body text: a simple, elegant, and highly legible sans-serif font. Interstate is a typeface designed by Tobias Frere-Jones. Does it look familiar? Interstate is closely related to the FHWA Series fonts, a signage alphabet drawn for the United States Federal Highway Administration in 1949. Stop ahead!
Haircuts > Luckily for the hairdressing industry, curly-haired Italians want it straightened and straight-haired Italians want it curled so there is no shortage of hair studios. Guys head for the barbiere, gals to the parucchiera. Average price is around €20 but possibly more for women. Even though the price list will show separate prices for shampoo, taglio (cut), piega (styling), meches (pronounced “mesh”, means highlights) and fon (drying), most salons will require that you get the shampoo service in combination with anything else, so you’ll be combining at least two prices. If you want a cut only, you must be very clear. (Si può fare solo un taglio?) OK, a few other terms before we start. Bangs are la frangetta, Can you just cut the split ends? Is Puoi togliere solo le doppie punte? If you want layers ask for capelli scalati.
Our pick for guys and girls is Hair [up], just a hop, skip and a jump from the fountain. Go down Via Maestà delle Volte towards Piazza Morlacchi and about halfway down, on your left (at number 3, next to the little fountain), you’ll find the door. Upstairs Ricardo can help you in English or in Italian, to make sure you get what you want from your haircut. The young staff is also ready-to-please. While you wait check your email (WiFi available) or browse some books in English. In addition to all sorts of cuts and highlights and perms, they also do pedicure’s and manicure’s (French, too), professional make-up, depilation, and even piercings and tattoos. Most people want shorter hair, but if you need longer, they’ve got extensions with human hair, too! They’re convenient, open Mondays (the first in Perugia to do so) from 13-19, 9-19:00, as well as Tuesday through Saturday, and give all students 20% off their prices. It’s the place to go if you are unsure about being able to explain what you want in Italian, and they’re young and friendly to boot. Call 075.572.5892 for an appointment or just stop by. For more info check: www.hairup.it.
Hostels > The only one in the center of the city is newish and has a great view. It’s located at Via Bontempi 13. The hostel reception is open 7.30am-11am and 3:30pm-midnight. Checkout is from 7:30-9:30, and there’s a curfew at 3.30am. There are 150 beds, a kitchen, a tv, and some organized activities. The hostel is closed for winter break from 15 December to 15 January. It’s €17 for a bed plus €2 for sheets – don’t worry, you don’t need a hostel card. The site is www.ostello.perugia.it and the email is email@example.com. The phone is 075.572.2880 and the fax is 075.573.9449.
Laundry > Bolle Blu is a self-service in Corso Garibaldi, about a hundred meters from Piazza Gallenga on the right. It’s open every day including holidays (giorni festivi) and Sundays. 8kg for €3, 16kg for €5.50, and €2 for drying. There are also specials for comforters, sleeping bags, curtains, blankets, etc. You can also try the Mela Rossa at the end of Via della Viola, near Porta Pesa but be warned that it will take a few runs to get your clothes REALLY dry. There’s also Lavanderia Yuki at Corso Garibaldi 85. For €6 Fabrizio washes, dries, and folds a load (6 kg.) of your laundry. Come back two hours later and it’ll be waiting for you. The Laundromat is named after a little snow-white dog that a Korean girl gave to Fabrizio years ago and which became the mascot of the place. It’s open 10-13:00, 15:30-19:30 Mo-Fr.
Newsstands > These places are called edicole or giornalai (that’s in the plural). They’re a little different to a simple tabaccaio because they don’t have stamps or cigarettes, but do have newspapers, magazines, bus tickets, and telephone cards (for the Telecom Italia public phones, also the recharge, ricarica, for your cell phone). On Sundays they usually close Sundays at 13:00, otherwise they follow the usual morning-evening split hours. Newsstands in the center of the city have a few foreign-language titles (English, Spanish, German, etc.), invariably several days out of date. When the world ends, you won’t read about it in Perugia until the following week.
Post Office > A quintessential Italian experience: take an enormous building, open two or three random rooms to the public, add thousands of papers and hundreds of stacks of folders (of all colors) and fifty employees. To be fair, these employees are often blamed for the mail being slow, something over which they have no control. The main post office is on Piazza Matteotti, the elongated piazza that runs parallel to Corso Vannucci. Go down Via Mazzini and take a left. It’s open Mo-Sa 8-18:30. Notice the beautiful country names that ring the ceiling in the main room – they are original and you can even see “Austria-Ungheria.” Under the blue and yellow sign “Prenotazione” take a number for spedizione e ritiro lettere e pachi (if you want to send letters or packages). The reason Italian post offices seem so confusing and chaotic is that they serve more functions than just mail, such as banking and utility bill paying. It’s €0.85 to send a postcard or smallish letter to the U.S., €0.65 within Europe. These are priority mail/airmail (prioritaria) prices.
Public Bathrooms > If you need to go and you’re away from home, there are two main locations in the center. The first is in the Rocca Paolina, the big building on Piazza Italia. As you look at it from the piazza, angle around the right side and go down the first set of scale mobili. Take a left on the main subterranean “street” and look for signs for the WC on your right. Adam tells me, though, that this is sometimes open, sometimes not. The second bathroom is off Corso Vannucci on the left if you’re facing the Duomo, at about number 27. The alley is called Via Boncambi. The bathrooms are about twenty meters down the alley, on the left. They are free except for an offerta to the attendant. Fifty cents is polite.
Scale Mobili > The escalators at Piazza Italia are open 6:15-01:45, while those in Via dei Priori from 6:45-01:15.
Sciopero > Sciopero! Strike! I learned this word in the Verona train station – guess how! Everything and everyone is on strike in Italy at one time or another. Don’t be surprised to wake up one morning and see a horde of doctors in white coats marching down the middle of the road waving revolutionary placards. I did. Sometimes you get a modicum of warning before the train drivers, postal workers, lecturers, etc. march off but don’t count on it. In the case of bus strikes, services must by law be provided during the hours that children go to and from school, i.e. 6-9:00 and 12-15:00 are your windows of opportunity. With trains, soppresso means the train has been suppressed, or won’t run. Strikes notified in advance even make their way onto the timetable at www.trenitalia.com, though will NOT be listed on the English version of the site.
Spelling > I suggested to Alan that since most of the text had been written with American English spelling, we should use it throughout. He reluctantly agreed and we changed “flavour” and “criticise” to “flavor” and “criticize” – but when it came to “kilometre,” he grew indignant. “You Americans don’t even use the metric system, so you certainly can’t expect to dictate how to spell it.” Hence the strangely mixed orthography: blame it on Alan.
Squilli > Telephones around the world ring, buzz or beep. In Italy, oh how they squeal! Uno “squillo” is a single ring, i.e. when you call someone else’s cell phone, let it ring one time, and hang up. Usually this is done when the other person has your number saved so they see that it’s you that gave the ring. Italians use squilli to mean several different things. The first is to mean “yes” to an SMS question from another person, like “Cena a casa mia alle 8?” It’s a way to respond positively without paying. The second use is to let someone know that you have arrived or are leaving – one often hears “Fammi uno squillo quando stai in piazza.” Finally, romantics use it to mean “Ti sto pensando…” Oh, and sometimes Nikos uses it to mean “Non ho credito; chiamami.”
Tabaccaio > This used to be the only place where one could buy tobacco and salt, but now these shops are places to get much more than cigarettes and lighters. Look for the big blue or black T outside above the door. You can buy stationery, postcards, stamps, phone cards, and the all important marca da bollo or tax stamps for paperwork.
Tattoos > The parlor that we recommend is run by professionals working with high levels of both artistry and hygiene. Passion Tattoo, according to Nura, is located “past the street with Domus, take the next left, go to the end, hang a right, and about fifty yards down on your right.” Riiiiigghhht. It’s at Via Guardabassi 5, every day after 14:00, except Sunday and Monday. Call 075.572.3572. Paola and Fabrizio will fix you up with either a tattoo or a piercing. Also check out www.passiontattoo.com. There’s also a popular tattoo artist, Massimiliano, whose studio is inside of the Hair [Up] studio at Via della Maestà 3.
Taxis > Call 075.500.4888, but see Taxis in Umbria & Beyond for more details. Expect to pay around €10 to get down to the station from Piazza Italia.
Travel agents > These, like Internet cafès, are a dime a dozen. CTS, the student travel service, now at Via Antinori 57 (an extension of V. Pellini near Via Pascoli), have the best student prices. Some offers are for members only (€26 annual fee) though CTS can book regular tickets for anybody. If you are looking to book a train ticket, check the schedules online first (www.trenitalia.com). In the city center, train tickets cannot be bought, you have to go to the train station or book them online. For a long train trip you are best off going to the station the day before and buying the ticket. Dates are usually flexible in case you change plans.
Water > Water in Perugia, as in most of Italy, is drinkable straight from the tap. Perugia’s water tends to be rather hard – even those of us who do not stink will find the need to use a lot of soap here. Many people drink bottled water available from supermarkets. The main two varieties are acqua (minerale) naturale, plain water, and acqua (minerale) frizzante or gassata, fizzy or carbonated. Most bars will give you a glass of tap water (acqua dal rubinetto) if you ask for it. When restaurants offer you water you will pay.
Work > I’m often asked about getting a job. OK, first, leave Italy, then. Just kidding. It’s hard to get a job here but we’ve written a whole section on it. Yuu can find it at the download page under the name of So Now You Want To Stay. We’ve also included an essay about Pub Work and a sample flyer template. This will, more than likely, be the only job you can get if you’re here on a temporary basis, and don’t think you’re going to pay the rent with it. Still not disillusioned? Read the downloadable file and, as they say in Italian, “Good luck and male children!” For those of you interested in co-working in Perugia, we suggest talking with Jacopo Cossater, who has some space available. For more info see www.exeliografica.com/coworking/ .