Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Perugia - a thousand feet above the Tiber

As we drive north from the house in the direction of Florence we soon see the skyline of Perugia outlined against the invariably blue Umbrian sky. To a Scot similarities with Edinburgh quickly spring to mind. It is an ancient town approached through thick Etruscan and Roman walls and is less touristy than its flashier counterparts on the holiday travellers route Siena, Bologna and Ferrara. The cathedral is a wonderful unfinished old building that is still waiting for the covering of marble that was planned for it before the Black Death intervened. Gloriously and exotically ,( to a Presbyterian Scot ) it is famous for being the home of the Virgin's wedding ring. This is said to change colour according to the nature of the person who holds it. The ring lies securely in an intricate cocoon of 15 steel and iron boxes one within the other rather like a Chinese puzzle. Each one has its own key and each key is held by a different town functionary ! The 15 boxes are locked inside a steel lined chest with a golden key that is in the possesion of Perugia's bishop. How I love Italy and its customs .

1 comment:

Life With Dogs said...

Just beautiful - our architecture is so boring and immature by comparison.