Subterranean Perugia - the 16th century papal fortress
Rocca Paolina, symbol of papal power over Perugia, was a fortress designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger in the 1500s at the request of Pope Paul III.
Built to quell the riots that were agitating the city at that time, it was constructed by encircling part of an entire neighborhood and tearing down the Baglioni family houses and various medieval buildings.
It consisted of three parts: The Papal Palace, the Corridore and the Tenaglia. All that remains of the monumental structure today is the papal palace’s basement and part of the ancient village, streets and passageways with high ceilings, arches and rooms. A highly atmospheric place but only partially recovered. Located below the level of the main road, the basements are traversed by escalators connecting the upper and lower parts of the city and are often used for events, such as Christmas markets or the Chocolate Festival.