The Rocca Paolina is the remains a medieval fortress built in 1540 by Pope Paul III after Perugia was defeated in the Salt War. Today the fortress is an evocative maze of underground passageways, including, portions of ancient towers, massive chambers, vaulted ceilings and even the remnants of a communal bread-baking oven. This area was once the neighborhood of the powerful Baglioni family. One entrance, the Porta Marzia (Mars Gate) incorporates the upper part of an Etruscan gate from the third century BC.
Today the Rocca Paolina is very much a part of modern-day Perugia. Used daily as a commuting route to the bus station, it hosts various cultural events throughout the year including a Christmas market in December. There is also a separate space inside the Rocca Paolina called the Centro Espositivo della Rocca Paolina (C.E.R.P.). Located just to the right of the escalators that lead to Piazza Italia, this space is used for art exhibits throughout the year, which are open to the public and free to enter.
Read more about the Rocca Paolina on our blog.
Walking From Piazza Partigiani Bus Terminal:
Taking the series of escalators (scale mobili) located across the street from the bus station you will arrive directly inside the Rocca Paolina.
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 Piazza Italia. If no cabs are waiting call Perugia Taxi: 075 500 4888
By Bus (€1.50 single trip): Buses leave from the front of the main railway station in Piazza Vittorio Veneto to Piazza Italia. For Piazza Italia take Bus Line TS. Once at Piazza Italia take the escalators at the western side of the main building down into the Rocca Paolina.
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 left and take the escalators or to your right for the elevator to the top, then walk to Via Oberdan. Turn left onto Via Oberdan and walk straight to Via Marzia where you will see the Rocca Paolina and Porta Marzia entrance.
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.