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Perugia is a city rich in history and monuments and a significant cultural and economic centre. It is home to one of the most ancient Italian Universities and to the greater University for Foreigners in Italy. The rapid development of Perugia, which was one of the most important cities of the Etruscans, was favoured for its dominance over the Tiber river valley and for its location on the border between the territories of the Etruscan and Umbrian people. In the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, the city emerged as an important art and culture centre (painters such as Pinturicchio and Perugino worked here; among the others, Raphael and Pietro Aretino received their training in Perugia). Therefore it is possible to admire everywhere in Perugia monuments that witness centuries of history, art and culture. Significant archaeological buildings are the Arco Etrusco or Arco di Augusto (a monumental gate of the ancient Etruscan city walls, then restored in Roman times), the Pozzo Etrusco (an Etruscan well) and Porta Marzia, other monumental Etruscan door incorporated into a bastion of the Rocca Paolina, a fortress built by Pope Paul III in 1540. Piazza IV Novembre is one of the most beautiful squares in Italy: there it is possible to admire the Palazzo dei Priori, elegant Gothic building that houses the National Gallery of Umbria, which contains masterpieces by Piero della Francesca, Benozzo Gozzoli, Beato Angelico, Pinturicchio and Perugino. The wonderful thirteenth century Fontana Maggiore, a fountain decorated with bas-reliefs by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, is another of the works of art of Perugia. Perugia is also famous for the production of chocolate by the worldwide famous “Perugina”, an industry born in the early twentieth century and then transformed into an entrepreneurial reality at international level over the next hundred years.

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