The Civic Museum at Palazzo della Penna in Perugia (Museo Civico Palazzo della Penna) is housed within the former 17th Century residence of Ascanio della Penna, a nobleman who cultivated a passion for collecting fine art while in the service of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. The building is constructed on the ruins of a Roman amphitheater and an ancient Roman road and incorporates into its foundation part of the medieval city walls, which can be seen in the hallways of the lower gallery.
Some of the gallery rooms contain frescoed ceilings depicting the mythological story of Paris of Troy (of Trojan War fame), painted by the Umbrian artist Antonio Castelletti. A landscape room (Sala dei Paesaggi) is so named for the trompe l’oeil landscapes of the Umbrian countryside adorning every wall. A coffered and intricately painted ceiling finishes the elaborate décor.
The museum’s permanent collections include a series of rooms containing works by the futurist painter Gerardo Dottori. Galleries on the lower floor are dedicated to memorializing—in photos and multimedia, a meeting entitled “Beuys Burri” that took place in the Rocca Paolina in 1980 during which these two well-known modern artists shared with the public their contrasting methods of artistic expression.
This museum is worth a visit to see these permanent collections as well as the changing menu of exhibits and events throughout the year. At the entrance to the museum you’ll find the BIOO (Organic) Café serving coffee and tea, still and sparkling wines and a selection of gourmet sandwiches, cheeses and cured, sliced meats. The café hosts periodic events including themed dinners, book signings, lectures and concerts which are staged either inside or in the open air courtyard.
Walking From Piazza Partigiani Bus Terminal:
From the front exit of the bus station turn right onto Via Fiorenzo di Lorenzo and walk towards the roundabout with the statue of Garibaldi (Largo Cacciatori delle Alpi). You will be walking under the overpass connected to the Sangallo Palace Hotel with Banco Populare di Vicenza on your left. Keeping the Sangallo and the bank always on the left, cross the street and walk toward the smaller traffic circle and the Prenatal store, crossing the street to follow Via Guglielmo Marconi. You will be walking towards a series of 3 arches (Tre Archi). Approaching the arches and just past the phone booths on your left, go through the far left, arched entrance onto on Via Vibi. Stay left on Via Vibi and walk up the steps to Via Via Podiani. At the top of the steps, the museum entrance is on the left.
From Perugia Train Station (Fontivegge):
By Cab (Approx. €12): Taxicabs are usually waiting just outside and to the left of the train station front exit. It’s about a 10-minute ride to Palazzo della Penna. Ask to be dropped at the intersection of Via Podiano and Viale dell’Indipendenza. If no cabs are waiting call Perugia Taxi: 075 500 4888
By Minimetrò (€1.50 single trip): Adjacent to the back of the main railway station (where the tracks are located) and a 3-minute walk is Perugia’s light rail. Take this to the historic center (Pincetto Stop). Exit to your right, walking down the ramp keeping straight to Via Campo Battaglia until you reach the Scalette (stairs) di Sant’ Ercolano (the church façade will be right in view). Make a left and go down the steps. At the bottom of the steps, bear slightly right onto Viale dell’Indipendenza, then take the first left onto Via Podiani. The museum is on your right.
Note: The Minimetrò runs every 2 to 3 minutes Monday-Saturday 7am-9:20pm (Last ride at 9:05pm), Sundays and holidays 9:00am-9:00pm (Last ride at 8:45pm)
Tickets (UP Card) for both the buses and Minimetrò can be purchased at the bar/café inside the train station or at the kiosk located at the entrance to the mini metro itself.