I had picked up a booklet (I may have mentioned it before) from the Tourist Information place that outlined 5 "itineraries" and they all kind of start out right around the Fontana Maggiore so I decided I would try one of those. I didn't plan to do the whole route, because they are long, but there is one that takes you by a site where they have excavated a Roman mosaic from way back and I thought that sounded like a goal.
First on the route was the Palazzo dei Priori which was built, added on to, extended and who knows what all, starting in 1293 and 1297 (the left section) and the right section being added in 1335. At least that's what my booklet said, but a diagram which is in the entryway to the National Gallery and which I couldn't read showed more than 2 sections. So, I found this link for anyone who wants to look at it and you can decide what you think after looking at my pictures which I tried to take in sections following the diagram.. http://www.perugiaonline.com/perugia_palazzodeipriori.html.
Here is the diagram:
Now here are the pictures I took trying to get the sections shown in the diagram:
The darkish pink section...
Then the section beside that...
The blue section...
And the end white section.
The bronze griffin and Guelph (and I don't know what a guelph is but this is apparently what it looks like) are copies of the original bronzes which are in a picture later on and the two huge chains hanging down on either side of the entry were taken by the Perugians from the gates of Siena after a battle in 1358. I find all this "ancientness" fantastic!
So, then I searched out the three guild halls mentioned in my guidebook. First one I found (just a very small sign and a closed door that I opened) was the Collegio della Mercanzia (the Merchants Guildhall) which is basically just one small room, but absolutely stunning. Everything is wood, all the walls and the entire ceiling. There is a lot of inlay work, a lot of carving, and beautiful, beautiful wood. It was apparently done sometime during the 15th century and is probably as beautiful now as it was then. Here are the pictures:
I also found the Collegio di Cambio (Exchange Guildhall) which was another stunner - this one entirely covered in frescoes, both walls and vaulted ceiling, but I wasn't allowed to take pictures of it.
Then I went into the entry of the National Gallery to inquire about tickets, hours, etc., and took a few pictures of that entry area:
Those aren't steps leading up to the window - just tiers of block - I took it cause it shows how thick the wall is.
Now somewhere in this kind of messy pile of stone below the first arch on the right, is the base of the non-existent bell-tower of the early cathedral and a stretch of an Etruscan-Roman wall of travertine marble blocks. I couldn't quite figure out what was where although I think maybe the base of the bell tower starts where the patterned wall of the cathedral ends and comes out to a point and then back towards the rest of the wall.
After all that, I set out to continue my walk in search of the Roman mosaic. And, of course, found things that I HAD to take pictures of along the way such as:
And here's an arch over a public fountain, I guess you would call it -- they have these lots of places and I see people rinsing off their hands sometimes.
I was moving along well and even came to the street the book said I would, and then the instructions said, and I quote: "at the bottom of the steps, proceed as far as Via Santa Elisabetta and then left as far as the Roman mosaic." Simple enough. At the bottom of the steps, I DID proceed to Via Santa Elisabetta (at least I thought it must be cause I couldn't proceed any further). I asked someone, and yes, it was the right street. So I turned left and started down it and went a ways, and a ways further and started stopping people saying "Scusa, Roman Mosaic?" and pointing to the picture. No one knew...finally I saw a young man and thought okay, one more time. I showed him the picture and "oh, yes - it's right here" and he turned and pointed to the building we were standing beside which was a modern building, absolutely covered in grafitti and posted notices, and dirt - windows were filthy, etc. I wish I had thought to take a picture of it. But he went over and pointed into the filty windows and I went and looked and sure enough, there well below street level was the Roman mosaic. Not a sign ANYWHERE!!! But he showed me the entrance door and in I went and got my pictures, darn it. It's a very nicely laid out excavation, with many explanations of the work done to get it to its present state and in English even. But no clue outside that it's in there. Weird...
To the faithful who have reached this point, there are only two more pictures.
I stopped and had, of all things, a gyro sandwich at what I imagine is pretty much a student hangout and it was really tasty and cheap!
I then retraced my path up all those stairs and took these two pictures: