|"Evento PeriGoloso" is a fun play on the Italian language. Pericoloso (with a "c") means dangerous, while a Goloso or Golosa is a man or woman who really, really, really likes sweets - can't stop eating sweets.|
We loaded back onto the tour bus Sunday morning for the short drive to Perugia, but then waited for over an hour while the tour guide tried to figure out the best way for us to get into the city. There must have been over 1000 people just in the parking lot where we were, all trying to buy tickets and then get on the shuttle buses and/or tram into Perugia's old city. After much plan changing, we got our bus tickets and were given freedom until 5pm that night. After missing two buses due to crowding, my group of six ladies shoved our way onto a bus Japanese style, and a few of us even secured seats - a wondrous feat.
After making our way out of this building, we were hit with the full blast of an Italian festival. Wall to wall people. The festival was set up running up and down the main street of Perugia's old city, along with a few off-shoots. Booths upon booths of chocolate from around Europe on both sides of the already narrow street. We pushed our way up to one of the booths and were able to get a couple of samples - Mama Mia! Delizioso! Unfortunately, that was one of the last samples of the day. The crowds were truly unbelievable and defy description. One of the things we were all looking forward to was the hot chocolate (I was walking around with the ladies from dinner the night before), so we got cups of that - and ate it with a spoon (see picture on right side of blog - yummmmm). We also pushed or way to the booths with liqueurs made from chocolate. All sorts of sauces and cremes were available - chocolate & orange, chocolate & almond, chocolate and pepperocini, and just keep on imagining. After pushing our way through the crowds (and in the rain, so add umbrellas to the madness), we decided to take a respite in a shoe store, an oasis for which were all so grateful that we all bought shoes. This also kept the shop keepers from saying a word about us dripping all over their tiny store and lounging around on their gigantic, leather seating.
|I'm really not exaggerating about the crowds - here's a pic, and keep in mind, this street is one of the side streets of the festival!|
Back into the madness, we quickly decided it was lunch time. We'd only each had a large breakfast, four sips of chocolate liqueurs, three pieces of chocolate, and cups of thick, creamy, hot chocolate. Clearly not enough food. We lucked out in finding a nearby restaurant with a great menu, good food, and only a ten minute table wait. When we left, the restaurant had a 45 minute table wait because by then, the light, misting rain had turned into an all out assault. But Perugia is yet another beautiful, Italian town with old stone buildings, fountains, detailed carvings hanging off the buildings, enticing alleys, and so on. I wonder if I'll ever tire of these charming, little places. My group decided to spend the afternoon getting off the beaten path and exploring Perugia's old city.
We walked around taking pictures in the rain, found a little chapel with a fresco painted in the 1500s (or thereabouts), and in general, just enjoyed the town without the crowds. The day was so nice, despite the rain, but we had a really rough, long trip home. I did learn a valuable lesson for the future. If we join in these tours on the future, we will drive our own car. The trip home took about 6 hours due to multiple bathroom stops (which each took a minimum of 30 minutes), while the driving time should only be about 3.5 hours.
|Just a little sampling of what was available...|