Author: Yellow Duckie
After enduring a 21-hour journey, a blend of being in the air and on the train tracks, I was so glad that we finally made it to our first stop: Perugia. The bus ride from the train station to Perugia was fascinating as I had no idea that Perugia is actually a hill-town. Although the energy level in body was extremely low (not to mention that I am in the midst of overcoming my jetlag),excitement was spilling out of every corner of me.

The moment we arrived at the city centre, I felt as though I have just stepped in Discovery Travel & living channel. I could not withhold my awe standing in the midst of these ancient buildings. Lugging our 17 kg backpack, we were desperate to dispose our bags at the hostel and begin our exploration of this University town. To our dismay, the hostel will not open its door until it is 1600 and we have like almost two hours to kill. What choice do we have other than to join the crowd by the steps at Piazza IV Novembre and people watch. It turned out that this was rather relaxing and enjoyable. No wonder the steps are always filled with people! Word of advise if you want to enjoy your gelato at these steps, you have to beware of the extra toppings you may get from the pigeons that hovers above your head.

Although I was a little skeptical about the condition of the hostel, I was totally dumb founded to find how clean and beautiful the hostel which we will be bunking for 2 nights is! From the window of our room, the scenery of the rooftops beneath us that fill the hills was simply breathtaking. The common room itself is creatively decorated with Sculptures and the set up is really comfortable. I am so recommending this to all who would travel to Perugia (Rate is only Euro 15 per night, dorm and sheets is Euro 2).

I was totally overwhelmed by the fact that I am finally in Italy and to be quite honest, this is really something extremely different. The architecture, the air, the people, the food, just about everything is different from all my other travels. I can’t quite describe it but all I could say is that it’s kind of like walking into a surreal world. Stepping back in time to the medieval was perhaps is a more accurate way to describe my experience here. Steep Tiny lanes that criss crossed the town covered in arches was extremely worth exploring. I am simply lost for words.
Two advises while you are in Perugia:
One: Be adventurous to venture beyond Corso Vannucci, the main street of the town and be totally sweep off by the charm of Perugia as you view the city beneath and beyond your feet. You may even find a farm land in between the walls or an palace which was well perserved from the medieval times.

Two: Remove your tourist hat and learn to chill while doing nothing! There are some many perfect spots to enjoy this, the terrace of the Ostello, at the steps of the Piazza, the park, the cafes and the list goes on. We had the opportunity to spent a evening by the fountain at a piazza and watch how the crowd changes from a group of proud parents toying around with their kids, to a bunch of teenagers teasing and flirting with each eventually to a few lonely birds trying to quench their thirst. You could even find young lovers lip locking passionately by the fountain bench.

Less than 40 minutes train ride from Perugia will bring you to Assisi. According to the guide book, this is a PERFECT hill town and I for once, totally agree with the guide book. To begin with, you have a perfect view of this town from the train station. Stretched beyond the plains on a hill, Assisi stood majestically in perfect view for all who feast their eyes on it. It is no wonder that millions of tourist flocked this place without giving it a rest.

I was disappointed that I was not able to catch the sun flower fields which I dreamt so much of. The vast plains that stretches beneath this town, is where these beaming giant flower would flash it's beauty at certain time of the year as the foreground to this hill town. Unfortunately it is not during the time of my visit.
Although it felt a little bit commercialized by rows of tacky souvenir shops as you enter the town gates, you will soon be distracted by the spell this place has on you as you venture further in. The serenity between these walls will soon draws all thoughts from your mind and leave you in the state of marvel.

My first exposure to the Italian art was at the Basilica Di San Francesco, a spot which one should never miss whenever you are in Assisi. Step in and be taken away by the work of art left behind by the famous artist of the ancient times. It's a wonder how they could paint or sculpt on the ceiling.

Assisi has a lot of quirky and interesting shops which makes strolling along these tiny streets even more pleasurable. One of my favourite is the soap shop that sells all the interesting design soaps.

One of the most notable thing about Assisi which I could not forget is the delicious pork chop served at Otello (Vicolo San Antonio 1). It was unmistakably delicious!
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