Subject: Umbria
Here's something on Umbria from my files. Sandy in LA

Perugia: Capital of Umbria. Take the scale mobili (escalator) up the mountain to the Rocca Paolina, the old papal fortress. When building the escalator, a honeycomb of medieval streets beneath the fortress was found. You get out of the escalator at Corso Vannucci, the broad avenue where Perugians take their early-evening stroll. Nearby is the bronze and marble Fontana Maggiore, with its bas-reliefs, among which are depictions of the 12 months of the year. The fountain is one of the masterworks of Italian Romanesque art. See also t he Collegio del Cambio, once the seat of the powerful guild of money exchangers. Built in the 15th century, it is decorated with exquisite wood carvings and frescoes by Perugino, who included a self-portrait in one of the works, as did his student, Raphael, then 17 years old. Corso Vannucci is where most of the expensive shops are. Try Ideacarta, 10 Via Bonazzi for Florentine paper goods.

Todi: A hill town founded by the ancient Umbri. Well-kept medieval houses join with pierced stone arches along the walkways that lead up the Piazza del Popolo. At one end is the 12th century Duomo sitting on the same spot where a Roman temple once stood. See also the Palazzo del Capitano and the Palazzo del Popolo, two Gothic structures connected by a staircase. The Church of San Fortunato is where the 11th century Italian poet Iacapone of Todi is buried.

Torgiano: A peaceful hilltop village in Umbria, a good base for exploring Perugia. La Spola is the best place in Umbria for contemporary and traditional crafts.