EDitorial ± 1-Sep-2008

Italia 08

Agosto, Umbria, Italia -- rented Astra estate (curiously, this means "summer" in the local lingo) tells us today is "martedi" -- and we're on a day trip to somewhere I've actually heard of.

Today is destinazione Perugia, a name dimly remembered from the glory days of Football Italia on Channel 4. Fabrizio show-us-your-belly Ravanelli started and ended his calcio career here. Head past nearby town of Castiglione del Lago and onto the soothingly named E45 road. Ah, smooth, apart from the odd pothole. Several tunnels later we've taken the correct exit and, after a bit of a climb, somehow found the right car park.

Now to follow the signs to the escalators. Of course! 'Cos that's the way you reach the oldest part of town. Up one covered moving walkway, then another, quick walk and up the next, et cetera: there's five or six of 'em. Fantastically, the penultimate riser brings you up into the underground remains of the city.

Saunter along the Corso Vannucci, past the Apple store, and admire the Palazzo dei Priori (tick), Fontana Maggiore (noted) and Duomo (cross it off). Etruscan Arch can follow once we've had a macchiato and some gelati.

Much later, all sapped by the heat and the walking, we're struggling to find the way back out in the car and find ourselves in the wrong lane, not for the first time. What's that? A McDonalds sign? And there's a parking spot outside? Come on, kids! Watch your Dad as he struggles gamely to order various items before discovering that the young lady server speaks perfectly good English.