Perugia – Italy


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Rina Sala Baker, an Italian living in Grand Rapids, says “You really experience the similarities between people around the world during trips to Perugia. There are common desires for a high quality education, job opportunities, safe environments for our children and loving families. The marketplace allows you the chance to feel this first-hand. This brings me back year after year.”

Quick Facts

  • Sister City Anniversary: 1993


The city of Grand Rapids just recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of being a Sister City with the city of Perugia. A representative of the city of Perugia, Ms. Severini, joined the mayor of Grand Rapids in October 2018 to renew this long-standing Sister Cities relationship.


  • History

With just over 150.000 inhabitants, Perugia is the capital of the province of Umbria. Founded in the VI Century B.C., elements of Etruscan, Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance history and culture make Perugia the city that it is today.

  • Sister Cities Traditions

The city of Perugia invites its Sister Cities from around the world to participate in the International Marketplace, devoted to the promotion and sale of products from their respective areas. Representatives from Grand Rapids join the market by bringing traditional Michigan products like dried fruits and nuts, buttery caramel corn, maple syrup (a special favorite of our Italian customers!), and cherry wood products. Over 50,000 visitors from Perugia and many European cities attend this event, therefore it becomes an exceptional opportunity to interface with people from many nations to promote the industries of Grand Rapids and the city as a touristic destination.

  • University Life


Perugia is rich of University life. About 30,000 students each year attend not only the University for Foreigners (founded in 1921), but also one of Italy’s oldest universities, the State University, founded in the thirteenth century.
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  • Food & Festivals

Perugia and its surrounding region are famous for high quality gastronomy: 11 wines have been granted the DOC and 2 wines the DOCG; olive-oil is produced in Umbria since Etruscan times, all of this to compliment foods in the best Italian tradition. Important events of international stature animate the city and represent it worldwide: Umbria Jazz International Jazz Festival, “Eurochocolate” International Chocolate Fair, “Sagra Musicale Umbra” Perugia Sacred and Classical Music Festival, and other exciting events.

Recent Events

Fundraiser Murder Mystery Dinner, hosted by Amore Trattoria Italiana. [November 5, 2018]

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Micaelina, 2018’s scholarship winner to study abroad in Perugia.
[Learn more about the Perugia Scholarship here]

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Please see the travel information section of this website for more details on travel to the area.

Read about how the city of Perugia is considered one of Italy’s hidden gems here.