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A Long Way from Home

Perugia is a long way from home. When I stepped into the plane on Wednesday morning I had only a vague idea on how to get there and what would await me in return.

The decision to fly me into Perugia to report on COMMA Art City was last minute and I was determined to follow the few instructions I had on how to get there. But landing in Rome Fuimicino already proved my determination as fruitless as a law suit against Berlusconi. Including all the confuzione, wrong informazione and sending arounde.

An hour of seeking information on that one bus had me sweating and I was happy to meet Nana from Rooftop in Amsterdam to share my confusion.

We decided to catch the train instead. Five hours and plenty of the beautiful Umbrian landscape later we arrived at Perugia. Sit and one of the producers of COMMA awaited us with a ride downtown and off we raced up the hills like madmen, to be dropped off at the bottom of one of the many seemingly endless escalators.

Those escalators connect the old part of the city on the top of the mountain with the newer part at the bottom, where most cars are parked since the city is only accessible by car during certain hours of the day. The primarily medieval center of Perugia has hardly changed since the time of the Roman empire, before and beyond. This is something you don’t just realize when someone points out the hooks attached to an ancient viaduct and tells you that that used to be where the heads were hung.

A maze of small streets, side alleys, squares and mysterious buildings lead up and down the hill that is Perugia. Believe me, there’s not a single street that’s level. And because of it’s hilltop position stunning views of the Umbrian landscape lie to your feed around unsuspecting corners. I’ve told you about very great things and places before, but Perugia gets 4 out of 5 Very’s on my very scala. It is a very very very very great city.

Arriving at the Hotel Priori, which I learned would be my nest, I was already greeted by the cheers and saluti from the group of 15 Amsterdam based artists dining at the nearby restaurant. It felt like coming home in a strange and mysterious town I’ve never been before.

To read more and see all pictures visit No New Enemies.

by Maxi Meissner



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