Despite Depredations By Witless Knox, Perugia University Is Again Rated Italy’s #1

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Really don’t miss this, it is astonishing work

Universities Compared

What do Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Yale, and Cornell have in common?

They are all large campus universities that really dominate their towns. Usually wonderful places that feel pretty special. Here are 50 in the US and a couple of dozen in the UK.

Perugia University (UP) is a campus town too, a very big one, with about 1 in 5 residents either on the staff or studying there.

UP is known as top-level globally in its main fields with renowned teachers and professors attracted from all over the world.

Knox of course was not enrolled there, see her pretty phony excuse explained here. Students fled by the hundreds after the shock report of Meredith’s death - it was ultra-safe Perugia’s first murder for some years.

The university did shut down during the peak of Italy’s pandemic but is back up to speed now with expanded remote learning - and the choir! - in place.

And UP has again won a prestigious award. From the “Top Universities” site, this was last year’s report, which for 2020 remains the same:

The University of Perugia, one of the oldest in Europe (established in 1308), is located in the Umbria Region, in the “green heart of Italy”, famous for arts, music and natural landscapes. Today organized in 16 Departments and several Centers of excellence, it has about 24,000 students, 1,100 professors and researchers and 1,100 staff.

The quality of its research, education and services is certified by the 2018/2019 Censis ranking (Center for Studies on Social Investments), that sees the University of Perugia first, for the sixth year in a row, among all large-sized Italian Universities within 20-40 thousand enrolled students.

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New Looks At Perugia From The Several Daily That Go Online

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Congratulations To Andrea Romizi! Surprise Winner In The Election For Perugia’s New Mayor

Posted by Peter Quennell

Andrea Romizi wins with 58% of the vote.

He has served for 10 years on the Perugia City Council and has recently occupied the post of vice-president. He represents a center-right coalition, the first time that Perugian politics has moved to the right in 70 years. He was a very late candidate after several withdrew.

He is now aged 35, he is a Roman Catholic, he practices as a lawyer, and he is engaged to be married to another lawyer. He’s a lover of Tolkien (think: The Ring). His family’s palazzio, famous for its haunting Nightingale courtyard with a fountain, which he recently opned to the public, is in the highest point in town and looks over Meredith’s house about 300 yards to the north.

His father is a respected pediatrician, his mother Maria Rita was a herbalist, and his twin brother Francis is an anthropologist who just moved to Brazil. His grandfather Renato taught for forty years at the Greek and Latin High School of Perugia and was a university fellow at the Scuola Normale of Pisa.

He is said to be determined, cool and low-key. He’s very popular among the youth vote, and always the subject of embraces and big grins when he walks around.  Sounds like the kind of modest super-achieving guy that Meredith would have had a lot of time for.

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More Collateral Damage: Owner Hopes To Sell 7 Via Della Pergola Though Chances Seem Slim

Posted by Peter Quennell

Please click here for a Powerpoint in which Kermit explains how this unusual house came to be.

The house has just gone on sale for E460,000, which is not steep for two apartments with parking in Perugia, a high-income town with a huge university. But whether the house sells fast - this is said to be the best season price-wise - we will have to wait and see. 

The owner is a retired woman who lives in Rome and the rental payments were once an important part of her income. As one of the victims of the crimes perpetrated late in 2007 she has been legally represented at the 2008 and 2009 trials and the 2011 and 2013 appeals.

The house seems unlikely to attract professionals as a place for them to reside, with its continuing appearance in the news and daily visits. Rental income in recent years from the several groups of young people who occupied the apartments has been quite spasmodic.

It may be that the house is replaced by a parking facility. Infiltration of carbon monoxide gas from the cars above has been a problem recently, and there is to be a very long escalator right from about there to carry commuters up the hill to the city center.

For a short time in 2007 it gave eight residents such joy. But perhaps it is better gone - there are better ways to remember Meredith by.

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Favorite Videos To Honor Meredith’s Nice Embracing Town Perugia At Christmas

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Perugia’s Exceptional Uni And Economy May Have Made RS And AK Feel Small Frogs In Big Pond

Posted by Peter Quennell

[Multi-millionaire success story Brunello Cucinelli and, below, his Perugia-area factory and a typical store]

Few crime specialists seem to see the pattern of the attack against Meredith as being absent of intense anger.

There is no way that attack represents the pattern of a lone burglar or for that matter of a single perp of any kind. The Supreme Court already KNOWS that and they know that at first appeal the Knox and especially Sollecito lawyers tried desperately to prove that two or three other perps were there, either with Rudy Guede (witness Aviello) or without (witness Alessi).

For months now, apparently unnoticed by the FOA sheep, the defenses have been sounding absolutely feckless in the face of the juggernaurt prosecution appeal submitted to Cassation by Perugia’s chief prosecutor Dr Galati.

We’re betting that if they had it all over they would have urged Knox and Sollecito to take the short-form trial and one of the olive branches offered by the prosecution (that it was a sex-based attack which went too far, not an intentional preplanned murder).

They could have entered known facts about Sollecito and Knox to show that at the least they had tin ears and had always been callous, jealous and quirky. They might have advanced a drug-based excuse - the other olive branch advanced by the prosecution was that they were on cocaine and not marjuana that night and cocaine can induce rages leading to murder.

They might also have advanced the notion that both AK and RS were being remorselessly frozen out by their peers, who increasingly looked down on them, not least of course Meredith whose sleep and studies were constantly disrupted by the thoughtless, sharp-elbowed Knox.

Consider first who were their peers. Perugia is a city of driven high performers and it may not be the most comfortable environment for low-performing layabouts. In its own small way it is about as hustling as Manhattan.

It is one of the brightest cities in Europe with an extremely high median IQ. It is one of the top-performing cities in the Italian economy, in part because of the advanced scientific research at the very large university, and in part because it is the home to some brilliant international entrepreneurs.

Both these faces of Perugia are constantly in the Italian news. A search of the past week’s news for the university turns up reports on medical and mathematical and space-science breakthroughs and as usual a number of international conferences in the works.

And a search of last week’s news for Perugian businesses turns up for example this report on Brunello Cucinelli the highly sucessful and innovative fashion-goods entrepreneur who is now talking of doubling his factory.

Sollecito was never really a part of either. He had few friends and no girlfriends, he was a year or two behind his age-group in his studies, and he needed his back watched at all times - though from his book it is obvious that he felt needled by his highly successful doctor-father.

And Knox arrived with poor Italian despite all the claimed studies back in Seattle, she took on only a light and unimpressive study-load (compare Knox’s to Meredith’s) and she was rapidly shedding friends and the goodwill of her tolerant, well-meaning employer.

Neither had a credible and impressive career path in mind, and for that matter, still don’t. It is tough enough to know you are not making it, that can induce in many quite a rage.

But it is even tougher when all your peers around you notice it, and in American street parlance you get to feel “dissed”.

House Area: Shots of Meredith’s House From The East

Posted by Peter Quennell

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House Area: Shots of Meredith’s House From Above (South)

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to come again

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House Area: Meredith’s Bedroom-Window Views, From North-East To North-West

Posted by Peter Quennell

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Solving The Puzzle Of Where The New Perugia Criminal Courthouse Is Actually Located

Posted by Peter Quennell

Massei/Hellman court is in the brick building at top left; Rudy Guede was tried in the new courthouse at hard right.

With this, we seem to have onsite images of all the key locations in Meredith’s case. Click all images for larger versions.

This at right above, and below, is Perugia’s new criminal courthouse. It was first used in October 2008 by Judge Micheli for Rudy Guede’s trial and Sollecito’s and Knox’s arraignment for trial. One advantage is that it has underground parking so defendants can enter away from the media.

It was built by Siemens in the early 1900s as a generating station. Media descriptions of the 2008 trial did not explain precisely where the new court is, and the few media images online (see last 2 images here) only showed the front entrance and thus gave the impression of quite a small building.

In fact it turns out to be directly downhill from the Court of Assizes and right under the opaque windows of the court used by Judge Massei and Judge Hellman. (Their court is in the brick building visible high up in several of these images.)

Also it is really quite large and it contains several criminal courts. We’ll check for any video showing the interior. The complete interior rebuild was paid for by the central Ministry of Justice.

By the way Google Images does a terrific job of caching our images. These should show up there soon.

Below: familiar piazza entrance to assize courts is to left, new courts are at lower level on right

Below: the location of Meredith’s house relative to the courts is at the top center in this satellite view.

Below: five images showing the court’s south side, seen from the tunnel mouth and the street beside

Below: empty van is parked by ramp to underground parking, the route taken by RG + RS + AK

Below: Masssei/Hellman court shows up at top in two shots below; windows are opaque so no view down.

Below: two media images of the new entrance, which is all that was shown in the main media.

Below: the ramp down to underground parking where perps enter is shown in foreground

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With Free Citywide Wifi Internet Perugia Further Expands Its Impressive Infrastructure

Posted by Peter Quennell

Along with the Italian economy in general Perugia has been taking its share of knocks.

However it is cleverly managed and under the ancient shell of the central part it is (like the food store above, one of many boutiques) surprisingly modern. Its infrastructure is among the best in Italy and it would beat that of many cities in the US.

Perugia has an excellent rail link to the rest of Italy with frequent trains, a city bus service that goes where you’d imagine no bus could go, an automated light rail system that heads up the side of the massif, and an expanding amount of public parking in multi-floor facilities.

Perugia already has a long-haul escalator at the south end of the massif, and it will have another long-haul escalator in its future from the parking facility opposite Meredith’s house to the top of the hill. Mobile phone coverage, never easy to install in ancient cities, has long offered generally good service throughout.

Now free open wireless connectivity to the internet throughout the city is announced and it should be fully operational within three months.

The Italian city of Perugia will get free Wi-Fi by June, in time for its annual Umbria Jazz festival. CentralCom and a temporary group of companies including Tiscali and Umbra Control won a contract to build a network of Wi-FI hotspots, starting with the municipalities of Perugia and Terni.

The project, funded by the Region of Umbria for a total of EUR 150.000, could be extended to cities in Umbria with subsequent funding. Internet access will be free of charge for two hours a day, and within institutional sites, with no time limits. Payment profiles will also be available without limitation of time/volume.

The US seems seem to have the edge over most of Europe in free hotspots. They are in almost all the fast-food stores and many public buildings. The US also has something that is generally illegal in Europe: many personal domestic hifi networks which are left open (sometimes unwittingly but usually with intent) which anyone adjacent may use.

But citywide wifi is not yet widespread in either Europe or the US, and where Perugia goes now, hopefully all cities will go next.

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Perugia Prosecutors Arrest The No #2 Political Leader Of Umbria From Rocco Girlanda’s Home Town

Posted by Peter Quennell

Perugia’s formidable prosecutors are once again in the Italian news.

Mr Orfeo Goracci (left above) is the elected Vice President of the Regional Council of Umbria which sits in Perugia. He and eight others have been charged with serious crimes.

Mr Goracci is the former mayor of Gubbio half an hour north of Perugia and he runs the political machine there. The other eight arrested are all Gubbio officials. Mr Goracci is a friend of the Knoxaholic MP Rocco Girlanda who is the Member of Parliament in Rome for the same town.

Gubbio is in the Guinness Book of Records for annually creating the world’s largest christmas tree (image at bottom). A pretty and historic place on a hillside, it is where Knox and Sollecito had planned to go on the day after Meredith died.

Mr Girlanda is from an opposing party to Mr Goracci’s and has been quick to distance himself, but it is being remarked by commenters on Italian websites that there is no way he would have been elected MP if Mr Goracci’s machine had not given him a strong assist.

Last year, Mr Girlanda, who is married with five daughters, tried to intervene to tilt the Knox-Sollecito appeal in four different ways.

He wrote a book rhapsodizing the thoughts of Amanda Knox, using his parliamentary right to check prison conditions to access her. He ran several panels at his US-Italy friendship association in Rome. He attempted in parliament to cut police budgets for wiretapping.

And he petitioned the President of the Italian Republic to order an investigation of the Perugia prosecutors. This was ignored by the President. How ironic now that Mr Girlanda risks being at their receiving end.

This is a translation of the report by Emanuele Ciogli on Avanti Online.

The “Czar” of Gubbio is arrested for criminal conspiracy and charged with sexual assault

I wonder how Don Matteo would deal with the case, the fictional cycling detective in his cassock who is very popular with Italians.

The news these days brings us right to Gubbio, setting of the famous fiction and no longer only fiction: the former mayor of Gubbio, Orpheus Goracci, current vice-president of the Regional Council of Umbria, known for his despotic behavior as “Czar” or “King” or “The Boss”, has ended up in custody along with eight others of his “group”, all politicians, directors or officers in charge of the city.

The charges against him are serious: conspiracy aimed abuse of office, bribery, falsification of public documents, and removal of government records. But especially sexual violence.

He is accused of conspiracy since 2002 and “an undetermined number” of crimes: abuse of office, bribery, falsification of public documents and deletion of public acts. All this in creating “a climate of intimidation and fear in the city of Gubbio.”

According to one of the key witnesses of the prosecution to the Perugia investigation, conducted by the police and the carabinieri, Goracci when mayor “within the administration was acting like a dictator, treating the city as his own thing, refusing any advice that does not conform to his will, and penalizing or favoring at will employees, particularly women. “

Women were “advantaged” in exchange for sexual favors, and friends of friends were backed by virtue of rampant cronyism.

To understand the logic of the former mayor of Gubbio just listen to the testimony given to investigators by one witness, a policewoman with a fixed term contract, who was unlawfully excluded from a permanent contract because she was deemed “unfriendly” to the alleged conspiracy promoted by the former mayor.

“The logic was clear: either you were a woman and relented to the advances of Mayor Goracci; or you were a man and had political connections or friendships with Goracci or persons inside his group. Or you were out of the game.”

The woman’s statements describe a “permanent stop placed on her” say the investigators, confirmed by statements of her friend and colleague: she was unlawfully excluded from the competition for municipal police officer indefinitely after rejecting the alleged advances of the mayor (who in this episode is also accused of sexual assault).

Mayor Goracci on one occasion according to the papers of the investigation “attracted her to him, kissing her shoulder, and trying to kiss her on the lips.” But the woman “extracted herself and had managed to leave the office.”

This episode would be followed by another similar… She told him “to lay off, reminding him that he had a wife and a daughter.”

In the first image below you can see Mr Goracci with the Regional Council leadership. After his arrest there is an empty seat. His buddy Mr Girlanda will face a tough election later this year or next.

Uncharacteristic quietness from him meanwhile might thankfully become the norm. Shades of Amanda.

Don’t Be Fooled By The Recent Claim That The Knox-Sollecito Case Imperils Perugia University

Posted by Peter Quennell

At first glance this headline looks terrible: Perugia: Less Money And Students; University Is at Risk Of Closure

Something has gleefully been made of this in some quarters to the effect that those meanies who prosecuted Knox and Sollecito have seriously dissuaded other students from enrolling and now put the whole university and town at risk.

Look into the cries of risk of closure more closely though, and a rather different and more innocuos explanation emerges.

Google this phrase “università  a rischio chiusura” and for all of Italy you will get nearly three MILLION hits.  Three million claims is an awful lot of gloom and doom - and in fact Perugia only came very lately (and very mutedly) to the sobfest.

Universities all over Italy (map of just some above) have been forcefully claiming for several years that this or that faculty or department or program risks closure. This intensified when one year ago the Rome Parliament capped university staff costs.

Articulate academics are hardly famous for simply taking their medicine and keeping quiet about it. Especially as staff cutbacks are also happening in corporations and other institutions all over Italy (and all over Europe, for that matter).

And there are not a lot of empty seats in the lecture halls and seminar rooms in most Italian universities including Perugia.. Most programs still get more applications than there are places.

The number of foreign exchange students headed for Perugia may have dropped slightly, but with current uncertain economic conditions they have also dropped somewhat all over. Perugia continues to attract more and more Chinese students.

Budget wars all over the world are the same. In the best way they know how, the universities are putting in their bids for resources, and trying to show the world how they in particular in the bigger scheme of things really matter. Very healthy.

There are no signs the town or university of Perugia are arguing against the prosecution’s Cassation appeal going forward.

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House Area: Lower Tee Junction, Dumpsters, Gate Of Meredith’s House

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House Area: The T-Junction Below Basketball Court And Piazza Grimana

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House Area: Piazza Grimana Down To The Tee Junction

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger image]

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House Area: Shots of Meredith’s House From The West

Posted by Peter Quennell

to come again

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House Area: The Steel Stairs That Suspiciously Clanged On The Night ADD SHOT

Posted by Peter Quennell

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Brunello Cucinelli Perhaps The Most Globally Prominent Of Perugia’s Highly Successful Industrialists

Posted by Peter Quennell

The wealthy town of Perugia has not only a widely respected mayor, city administration, and justice system.

Its large main university houses some of the most advanced research and brightest academics in Europe. And the Perugia area is the home to some of Italy’s most successful industrialists.

The wildly successful fashion designer Brunello Cucinelli owns a worldwide chain of fashion stores, including a number in the United States. He has two stores in Manhattan and has just opened a new store in Las Vegas (images of the interior and his designs below).

His main factory is in Solomeo (image below) which is a stone’s throw to the west of Perugia, and just to the north of Capanne where Knox and Sollecito spend their days and nights The factory is in a converted castle (image below) and employs about 500 highly skilled and very well paid garment workers.

Mr Cucinelli has the reputation of being a really kind, decent, humane man. This description of him is from the Radio Netherlands Worldwide website.

Brunello Cucinelli’s business empire is doing very well thank you.

His range of luxury cashmere clothing has made him a wealthy man.  But, going against the grain of the image of the heartless industrialist, Mr Cucinelli believes in a new form of capitalism “where profit is used to improve the condition of human life.”

With that goal in mind, he is determined that his 500 workers should count themselves amongst the happiest factory workers in Europe.  They work not in a soulless factory building, but in a beautifully restored village nestled in the Umbrian hills in Italy.

The village of Solomeo has a 14th century castle at its heart, and its here that Cucinelli’s factory workers come, unimpeded by time clocks or mean bosses.  They eat a 3 course home cooked Italian lunch for a couple of euros, they’re paid an average of 20% than their counterparts in other factories, and a percentage of the business profits go to community arts and culture.

As a child, Cucinelli lived in a harmonious home, but saw his father ground down by his bosses at work, and determined that when he became a boss, he would never lose sight of his employees’ humanity.  And he’s kept that promise.

“I think this moment is the economic, moral and civil result of how we’ve behaved in the past 25 years. So I’m quite happy about this major change in humanity. I think we’ve had 25 years of universal economy in which we have all too often only worried about profit. I think that now something new is coming.”

Mr Cucinelli is again in the national news in Italy because he is contributing over one million dollars to restoring the fourth century Etruscan arch in Perugia (image at bottom) very close to what was once Meredith’s home. The arch is right across the street from Meredith’s language university, and she must have passed through it a number of times.

Some of Perugia’s lively discotheques are up through there, and the buses for discotheque goers that the witness Curatolo saw on the night head right up there. 

Meredith really admired personal qualities of hard work, caring, humaneness and diligent application. Mr Cucinelli is certainly an epitome of all of those.

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Sentiment Runs Deep In Perugia For Meredith But Not At All For Sollecito, Knox, Or Guede

Posted by Peter Quennell

Here are two examples of how the sentiment for Meredith stays alive.

The Perugia lawyer and law professor Francesco Bastianelli often comments online pro-Meredith and pro-prosecution. He first became active in irritation over the Perugia-Seattle twin cities arrangement, reacting to the disparaging comments in the Seattle media about Perugia.

He was pushing for the twin-cities thing to be abolished.

With the comment “that sucks” he linked a couple of days ago to a cynical disparaging post on how the defense lawyers are fattening their lot in life by way of this case. The post is on a Perugia blog called Pulchritudo Est Veritatis Splendor (Latin for “Truth is Beautiful”).

The Pulchritudo post is kindly translated below by our main poster Jools.


I know a few things about the process that is celebrated in my city to shed light on the Kercher murder:

I know what were my impressions in the immediacy of the news;

I know that the President of a parliamentary commission [Bongiorno] should be acting as President of the commission, and not requiring fees up to 5 zeros to attend yet another show-trial, and forcing a whole tribunal to do court hearings on Saturdays and having to pay extra respective fees to judges, clerks and ushers;

I know there’s a convicted man in the final phase (we want to call him a murderer) for “complicity in murder” (but in complicity with whom?);

I know that lawyers in Perugia have been slaughtering each other in order to join the defence team, go on TV, and be the posers in front of the cameras of CNN;

I know that lawyer Bongiorno [beforehand] disclosed the results of the [DNA] experts that had to be secreted;

I know that five relatives of Raffaele Sollecito and two journalists, in adjournment after adjournment of court, thanks to the statute of limitations, will never be held accountable for the [Telenorba] broadcasting of the infamous video of the forensic police;

I know that DNA evidence has become “the only evidence” and “the key proof” only just now that it is in favor of the defendants. But what about other “evidence” that came out during the course of the trial;

I know, in the end, that in case of acquittal the same tribunal will be giving birth to an aberrant sentence with two people acquitted, and acquitted despite their peculiar behavior over a murder that was vociferously committed in the room right next to the room that one of them happens to live in.

House Area: Language School, Piazza Grimana, Basketball Court

Posted by Peter Quennell

to come again

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Despite Its Rep Perugia Was Always Quite A Nice Safe Place - And Now Is Becoming Even More-So

Posted by catnip

“Noir City”, the “Disneyland of Drugs”, “Drug-Dealing Capital”, a “Sex-and-Drugs La Dolce Vita” for university students, an “Ibiza in Italy”.

All these phrases, and more, have been used by the media to describe Perugia. A recent Porta-a-Porta report visually represented Perugia’s situation by showing images of Elisa Benedetti and Meredith Kercher, and using a mountain of ecstasy pills as an iconic motif.

The Mayor of Perugia Wladimiro Boccali has had enough of this media presentation of his beloved city and says that the multi-faceted problem is not restricted to just within Perugia’s Etruscan-age city walls, but affects all places everywhere.

In a long and powerful rebuke, he called the media to task for having replayed the “Meredith schema” in relation to the recent tragic events surrounding Elisa Benedetti.

In this age of global networking, no city is an island anymore.

Criminal activity may have been attracted to Perugia precisely because of its tranquillity, its quiet and rural setting, and the vibrant student dynamic of the city may possibly also be a contributing factor, but these are not the only ones.

The vast majority of students are not drug-addicts and alcoholics, and manage to have a good time on Fridays and Saturdays and arrive home safe and sound.

Yet where there is a supply of drugs, there is also a demand, and at the core of this lies an alienation and dissatisfaction that is the responsibility of everyone, families and authorities combined, to face up to and to deal with. Otherwise the self-destructive nihilistic consumerism so often adopted by today’s young people will lead, tragically, to only one possible outcome.

So, in response to this, and to facilitate a coordinated approach, Prefect Enrico Laudanna convened a round-table summit meeting in February.

Present were the heads of the various sectors of law enforcement and the civil authorities: the Quaestor (=Chief of Police), Sandro Federico, the Provincial Commanders of the Carabinieri, Carlo Corbinelli, of the Guardia di Finanza (=Financial Police), Vincenzo Tuzi, of the State Forest Corps, Giorgio Piastrelli.

Plus of course the Mayor of Perugia, Wladimiro Boccali, along with Province Vice-President Aviano Rossi, and the Regional Director of Health, Emilio Duca.

After having heard the various analyses and proposals put forward regarding the grounds, both of security and of the battle against drugs, the Prefect urged the “maximum commitment and undertaking in realising the identified solutions”, under the technical and practical coordination of the Chief of Police.

The tide continues to turn.

No one needs to feel that they are adrift and rudderless in the world. No one needs to remain an island any more.


“Elisa case: Boccali reacts to “˜Meredith schema’ “, Umbria24, 05 February 2011

Tommaso Bori’s blog

Perugia Notizie blog

Fabio Polese, Fomento blog

“Drugs and security in Perugia focus of Prefecture meeting”,  TuttOggi, 07 February 2011

Giuseppe Mascambruno, Quotidiano blog

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Walled City Central: The Great Corso Vanucci

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

Okay, here’s a safe bet. Meredith walked the Corso Vanucci and related piazzas 40 to 50 times.

It’s a real people magnet. A place one is drawn to almost on a nightly basis.There’s lots of display, and laughter, and chatting, And the eye contact is considerable. Everyone looks at everyone.

Leading off of this main drag are many streets and many passages down. And lining the sides of it are offices, boutiques, pizza parlors, the occasional deli, more boutiques, and more pizza parlors.

Right. Some important scene-setting here. These shots are all taken progressively north, one or two looking back.

  • The shot above is looking north. Below, looking back, is the Piazza Italia of the previous post. And in the very great distance ahead, and a long way off down the hill, is Meredith’s house.
  • In between, in a straight line (shots here and next post), are a short stretch of street, then a widening into a piazza, another short stretch of street, another widening, a huge church, and another widening.
  • And then there are four routes off that northern piazza (next few posts). All lead down to Meredith’s house. Meredith probably used all four routes. But if you walk up and down enough, you tend toward one of them far more than the others. You’ll see which one soon.

The accordionist, by the way, was brilliant. Who KNEW the accordion could be played quite like that?

Would Meredith have stopped and listened? For sure.

Walled City Central: The Great Corso Vanucci At Night

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

Walled City Central: Smaller Of Main Piazzas, And Courts

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

At the end of this street above is the wonderful and very lively Piazza Giacomo Matteotti. And at night (next post) it looks even better.

To help to orient things, this is where we are now.

We are looking more or less north, slightly to the right of where Meredith’s house was. Down the hill at the end here is the Le Chic bar where Meredith was about to start working. At our back is the Piazza Italia.

To our left (running in parallel) is the larger Corso Vanucci with its own piazzas. And off the north end of the Corso Vanucci are three of the ways down to the house, captured in the four previous posts below.

You can see in the five shots directly below here the Perugia Court of Appeals.

This is where the suspects will hear the evidence against them, and probably be tried. It is always surrounded by cops and cop cars, as you can see. 

And even more-so on trial days, when the area becomes a complete zoo.

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Walled City Central: Smaller Of Main Piazzas - Nighttime Scene

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

The same road-down and piazza we posted on below. So busy and bustling and crowded in the daytime. 

At night there are no cops, no stalls, and no vehicle traffic of any kind. Just gentle warm breezes, magical boutiques, and a few lovers window-shopping.

Shots taken around midnight. Quite a few people were still around, lingering in the bars and the pizzerias.

Below: three shots in the short streets that connect this smaller piazza with the main central piazza

Below: Four shots of the boutiques - not cheap but very tempting - around the smaller piazza itself

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Walled City North: First Way Down To Meredith’s House

Posted by Peter Quennell

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To give it a name, it is Via Ulise Rocchi. 

This is the western-most route of the four. It heads down from the left side of the sub-piazza behind the church in the previous post, just visible in the first two shots.

Certainly the quietest and least spectacular, and unless one is heading to or from the School for Foreigners, through the city gate at bottom here, it would not be the shortest.

Nor would it be the safest to walk - the next street over (next post) has a footpath and steps and other protections for people on foot. This one does not.

Walled City North: Second Way Down To Meredith’s House

Posted by Peter Quennell

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We are now about 100 meters - a small city block - east of the street in the previous post.

Via Bartolo is a direct-line extension of the crowded Via Vanucci of two posts ago. And all of it, except for the curve at the bottom, points PRECISELY at the girls’ house.

Walk the several streets up and down from the girls’ house to the central piazzas, and THIS will very rapidly become your preferred route.

It is the shortest. It is interesting and entertaining - some stores, some restaurants, some flowers growing - and it is well lit. And it is really entertaining down the bottom, where the cobbles almost shake the traffic to pieces.

also, note how very pedestrian-friendly it is: the footpath, the steps lower down, and the protective posts to protect from the vehicles.

And there is one other feature - a real surprise. See the next post. 

Walled City North: Third Way Down To Meredith’s House

Posted by Peter Quennell

Again, we are looking north toward the girls’ house from the Corso Vanucci - looking slightly uphill, in fact, for this is the highest area of all in the Walled City.

Seemingly deserted, here in the first shot, but at night the area lights up as there are quite a few pizzeria restaurants up there. From the Via Del Sol - actually, from the Via Delle Prome, which it becomes - a VERY long stretch of stairs heads down. They wind around, in s-curve fashion, and at bottom they connect up with the street and the steps in the previous two posts.

A very tough climb up, from the girls’ house. But a very nice walk down and, day or night, with a TERRIFIC view.

The shot above was first posted with this explanation:

In late July, Perugia was relatively quiet. But summer courses continued, and students were still in town.

Nationalities? Many Italians of course. But many others too. Especially American, British, and Chinese.

A clear majority of them at the time were women.

One of the exercises became how to take photographs without including a 20-year-old in almost every shot.

This shot is an exception. The girl was reading under a street light at sunset - and she never ever looked up.

Safe and relaxed there.

Perhaps 300 feet down, and 300 yards to the right, almost in the shot, is the former home of Meredith Kercher.

Walled City North: Street Down To English Girls’ House [INCOMPLETE]

Posted by Peter Quennell

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Walled City North: Streets Down From English Girls’ House [INCOMPLETE]

Posted by Peter Quennell

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Walled City Central: Street Down To The Chic Bar

Posted by Peter Quennell

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Patrick Lumumba’s modernistic Chic bar is two hundred meters down the sloping street north of the smaller main piazza above.

The location of the bar was a surprise: off the quieter of the two main piazzas, down a quiet street, in a neighborhood where mostly Perugians themselves live.

Not what would seem to be a very plum location.

Amanda Knox had waitressed at this bar, after a fashion, and it appears that Meredith may have been about to replace her.

Below: The Chic bar is there behind the cars in each of these three shots

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Walled City Central: The Chic Bar

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

Daytime and nighttime shots of the bar where Amanda Knox had worked and where Meredith probably soon would.

Not a very large place. The lighting is nicely subdued and enticing, and the space-age tables and chairs rather cute. Noisy when busy? Possibly, though it comes across as a retreat rather than a hub.

It was unclear whether the bar was open for customers at this time. For reasons still unclear, the police prevented its opening for quite a while.

A main reason why it is now out of business.

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Walled City Central: Streets Down From The Chic Bar [INCOMPLETE]

Posted by Peter Quennell

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Caring Perugia Sets Up A Scholarship To Commemorate Meredith And Offer A Kind Gesture To Her Family

Posted by Peter Quennell

We previously posted this report on the Mayor of Perugia, Wladimiro Boccali, and how he reflects the city’s still caring for Meredith.

Now we have this report from UPI that he and the city council and the School for Foreigners have created a scholarship for Meredith.

ROME, Nov. 3 (UPI)—A scholarship has been set up in the memory of a British exchange student found murdered three years ago in central Italy, officials said.

Perugia and the city’s University for Foreigners said the scholarship would honor the life of Meredith Kercher, the ANSA news agency reported.

‘‘Meredith Kercher was here, our guest, to study and we want to remember her as a young student,’’ Mayor Wladimiro Boccali said Tuesday, the third anniversary of the day she was found with her throat cut…

‘‘Perugia wants a tangible sign to remain from her coming here,” Boccali said. ‘‘I think Meredith should be considered one of us and, as such, she should find a place in the city’s shared memory, with a thought also for her devastated family.’‘

Murders are extremely rare in Perugia so they affect the whole city deeply. The city council has also tried its best to be helpful to the family and encourage the search in the Sonia Marra case.

Sonia also was a visiting student.

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Part Of Meredith’s Emerging Legacy?  A Kind, Caring, Safe, Well-Run Perugia

Posted by Peter Quennell

Meet Wladimiro Boccali. The mayor of Perugia.

A year ago when Mr Boccali ran for office (video above) it was in the context of a city-wide desire for prosperity, public safety, support for the police and the court system, the enhancement of Perugia’s reputation, and the clamping down on drug dealing and student excesses.

A mood that very much flowed from the shock of Meredith’s passing. A sense that certain things had gone too far.

Since then, Mr Boccali has been in the Italian national news almost daily, and he is coming to be seen as the kind of political leader Italy could really use in a turbulent future.

He is in the news again right now, because there was a riot in the main piazza of the old city by some drunks late last saturday night. 

In part inspired and encouraged by good town leadership, Perugia’s economy is now one of the more thriving city economies in Italy. Perugia’s median IQ is extremely high (Perugia is probably one of the smartest cities in Europe) and a lot of very advanced research goes on there.

Perugia’s town administration does many caring things, such as the special city council meeting for Sonia Marra.

And seemingly attracted by all of this, people are moving to Perugia in droves - its population is increasing at double the national growth rate.

So. Meet the new Perugia. Meredith’s own qualities, writ large.

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The Three Communities Of Perugia And Why American Students Tend To Run Wild

Posted by Peter Quennell

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Perugia’s population these days is just short of 200,000 and of those about 20,000 are either visiting foreigners or foreign-born long-term residents.

Perugia’s population is growing at twice the Italian national average, and higher education and research is by far its largest industry. The University of Perugia is very old and it is the largest of a number of universities, colleges and institutes.

The numbers of people in town on any given day, week or month fluctuate far more than in most Italian cities. During the public holidays and university vacations, the old city can be extremely quiet - most of our Perugia shots here were taken in the quiet phases when almost nobody was around.

But when the colleges are all in session, and when there is a football match (Perugia has a very popular team), and when there is one of the frequent annual festivals (chocolate, jazz, and so on)  Perugia can be very hard to drive, park, or even walk in the main piazzas.

The three communities referred to here are (1) the long-term residents who, although far from outnumbered, seem to feel increasingly hard-pressed; (2) the large body of serious students, who work hard at their education to the excellent standards the Perugia institutions maintain, and (3) a smaller but less restrained element which tends to get into drugs and party loudly, and on football and festival days make the town seem to some threatening and out of control.

Incidents in Italy involving American students surface periodically in the news. The most notorious cases in the past couple of years were not in Perugia but in Florence, a couple of hours drive directly north. We don’t believe there is any blanket anti-Americanism in Italy but cases like this and also this do tend to get people ticked.

We posted nearly a year ago on a police clamp-down on the sale of drugs in Perugia. This drive seemed to have much accelerated after Meredith’s murder. A clear majority of those involved with illegal drugs - both in the selling and the using of the drugs - are said to be non-Italian.

This is an excerpt from Barbie Nadeau’s new book which shares her insights on this sometimes turbulent town.

It is 2 a.m. on a sticky September night, and Perugia is a cauldron of illicit activity. A thick fog of marijuana hangs over the Piazza IV Novembre. Empty bottles and plastic cups litter the cobbled square. The periphery is lined with North African drug dealers, selling their wares like the fruit vendors who occupy this spot in daytime hours. A group of pretty young British students giggle, easy prey to the Italian guys pouring their drinks. The American girls are more aggressive, eager to nab an Italian lover. Down an alley, a young man has lifted the skirt of his conquest and is having clumsy sex with her under a streetlamp while her drink spills out of the plastic cup in her hand. Dozens of students are passed out on the steps of the church. There is not a cop in sight.

This is the scene that greets the study-abroad crowd when they enroll at Perugia’s universities for foreigners. It comes as a shock to some and an irresistible circus to others, and it was the backdrop for tragedy in the case of two young women, Amanda Marie Knox, then 20, and Meredith Susana Cara Kercher, 22, who arrived in the fall of 2007 and enthusiastically joined the party. Less than two months later, Meredith was dead, and Amanda was in prison, accused of her murder.

These young women were not exactly innocents abroad. They had both done their share of college partying before they arrived in Italy. But that was hardly preparation for the nonstop bacchanalia that has made Perugia infamous on the international student circuit. Tina Rocchio is the Italy coordinator of Pennsylvania’s Arcadia University, which facilitates many study-abroad trips. “When they want to go to Perugia, my first question is always, “˜How much self-discipline do they have?’ before I can recommend it,” she says. “Perugia is not for the weak. The students who go there are of two veins””either they party or they study, and Perugia usually means a party.”

In the 1920s, Benito Mussolini established universities for foreigners in Perugia and nearby Siena, aiming to spread Italy’s “superior culture” around the world by recruiting foreigners to study cheaply in these lovely, walled cities. The Siena school remains relatively small. But the school in Perugia, in tandem with the city’s Università  degli Studi, which also caters to foreigners but has a larger contingent of Italians, spawned dozens of smaller satellite campuses. There are so many that the town’s student population is now roughly 40,000, around a quarter of the city’s total population of 163,000. Perugia is popular among foreign students looking for something cheaper and cozier than Paris, Barcelona, or Florence, these last three cities being the top choices for well-heeled Americans. The academic offerings are wide-ranging, and the professors have a reputation for being forgiving. Sometimes, the college credits transfer back home as a simple pass-fail mark, when they should actually be given a grade-point score. All this attracts an eclectic mix of young people from around the globe. Most of the Italian kids come from wealthy families; in Italy, university students usually live at home, and it is a rare privilege to go away to school. The foreign students””the universities are accredited in Asia, Europe, and North America””are more likely to be scraping by on scholarships and second jobs. With very few dorm rooms available, the students usually live in the historic center in flophouses and apartments that have been partitioned into tiny rooms to accommodate multiple renters. The town is full of discos, clubs, and cheap restaurants that cater to a student clientele.

No surprise, Perugia is also a drug dealer’s paradise; the mostly North African merchants do a lively trade in everything from genetically modified hashish to cocaine and acid. It is very easy to get high in Perugia, and the police generally turn a blind eye. Perugia has a very low crime rate compared with the rest of Italy. Despite its reputation, drug arrests are rare, and the police are routinely lenient with the student population. The narrow, cobbled streets, some of which are built in steps, discourage car use, so the students stagger around the city center on foot, and the drunk driving offenses that usually dominate college-town crime dockets are not a problem. Murders are extremely rare””with one notable exception. The year before Meredith was killed, another young woman, Sonia Marra, who was studying medicine at the Università  degli Studi, disappeared without a trace. The body has never been found, and it was only recently that her former boyfriend was arrested in connection with her murder””amid suspicions that the investigation into her death was neglected during the two-year circus following Meredith’s murder.

Perugia was home to the famous artist Pietro Vannucci, who went on to teach Renaissance great Raphael. It is also famous for the Perugina chocolate factory, now owned by Nestlé. But without the universities, Perugia would be just another postcard-perfect Umbrian hill town competing for the tourist dollar with Siena, Assisi, and St. Gimagnano. The local community looks askance at the wild student culture, but also knows better than to interfere much with the town’s economic mainstay. As one Perugian prosecutor told a reporter, with long-suffering tolerance, “This kind of intoxicating freedom gets into these kids so far away from home, this total lack of control, this hunger for experience rules these kids.” The universities and administrators of study-abroad programs contribute immensely to Perugia, and they expect the local community to be forgiving. They insist, too, that the party scene it is no worse here than any other college town.

Perhaps if someone had done their due diligence on the Perugia scene, Amanda Knox would not be where she is now. 

And of course Meredith would still be alive.

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Italian Tourism Bouncing Back: Perugia Becoming More Visited

Posted by Peter Quennell

That above is one of Perugia’s four-star hotels right off the great Corso Vanucci. It is two or three minutes walk from the courtroom.

Towns in Italy in mid-summer are always pretty quiet, because so many are away at the beach. But there is a report out now that despite the recession, hotels in Perugia and Italy generally are moving back to very high occupancy.

Italy is the second most-visited country in Europe after France. And rightly so.

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Apartment Below Meredith’s Is Re-Tenanted And Hers Will Be Too Soon

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click above for larger image]

The Italian news service AGI has a report on the re-renting of the house that includes this:

Apparently annoyed but amused. one new tenant [of the basement apartment] did not want to talk to reporters. A few days ago, he rented the apartment with two other students…

‘‘No money, no declaration. I want three thousand euros” said the boy in imperfect English when jokingly speaking to reporters who were waiting outside the house on Via della Pergola…

He knows of the attention that will be paid to him by journalists because he has chosen not to live inside the Perugia old sity in an ordinary house, but instead in one that became the scene of a heinous crime for which a trial still proceeds.

The boy, about twenty years old, perhaps Spanish, went out in the afternoon and returned home at around 4:00 pm bringing a small bag, a trolley with two bags, a bag for PC and a backpack.

After closing the green gate behind him which gives access to the house, he stayed home for about ten minutes and then went out again.

Dressed in jeans and a red and blue shirt with a “9” printed on the back and the word ‘‘Espana’’ on the front, he seemed more amused than intimidated by the presence of the journalists. The young man reiterated his unwillingness to speak…

Then, along with three friends, probably all Spanish, he headed out again for a nearby bar to get some coffee takeaways to bring back to the new apartment.

On entering the house the four young men dragged the kitchen table and some chairs outside and they then set to talking quietly, with some amused glances reporters in the garden opposite the front door.

And the Italian news agency APCOM has a report that a Perugia estate agency is in several ongoing negotiations to rent out Meredith’s apartment, now extensively refurbished.

The house is owned by a retired woman who lives in Rome and who seems to be dependant on income from it to pay her way. We believe the Italian government made a payment to her for the period the house was sequestered - for most of the time it was sequestered at the request of the defenses. 

That one of the apartments is again tenanted by students suggests there was no hike in the rent. But the value of the property seems certain to zoom soon in light of this proposal and might one day come down to make way for more parking in the area.

Our poster Kermit created a great Powerpoint show on the house’s rather strange history.

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Why Perugia Is At Less Risk Of Earthquakes Than Its Neighbors

Posted by Peter Quennell

See Perugia and you will agree. Any earthquake damage to this truly wonderful town would be a great tragedy in itself.

Here was our previous post. Now an American expert has made public the finding that Perugia is very unusually kind of riding the waves, which explains why it has not seen a major earthquake in 2000 years.

U.S. researchers say they’ve determined some slow-moving faults may help protect some regions of Italy and other parts of the world from earthquakes.

University of Arizona postdoctoral researcher Sigrun Hreinsdottir said until now, geologists thought when a crack between two pieces of the Earth’s crust was at a very gentle slope, there was no movement along that particular fault line.

“This study is the first to show that low-angle normal faults are definitely active,” Hreinsdottir said.

Assistant Professor Richard Bennett, who led the study, said scientists can now “show that the Alto Tiberina fault beneath Perugia is steadily slipping as we speak—fortunately, for Perugia, without producing large earthquakes.”

Perugia is the capital city of Italy’s Umbria region.

Creeping slowly is unusual, Bennett said. Most faults stick, causing strain to build up, and then become unstuck with a big jerk that translates into a big earthquake.

Hreinsdoottir and Bennett say they have shown the gently sloping fault beneath Perugia is moving steadily at the rate of approximately one-tenth of an inch a year.

They said Perugia has not experienced a damaging earthquake in about 2,000 years because the fault is actively slipping and might not be collecting strain.

“To have an earthquake, you have to have strain,” Hreinsdoottir said.  The research appears in the August issue of the journal Geology.

Why No Trial In The Summer? Heatwave #2 Hits Perugia

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click above for ANSA’s report.

These heatwaves are no joke in Italy - that report was carried on a Chinese English-language news site.

Perugia right now is hosting various summer-school sessions. As will is obvious if you stroll in the piazzas, many of the attendees are Chinese women.

Here is our post on the previous heatwave just over two weeks ago.

Walking Around Perugia Is Going To Get A Little Easier

Posted by Peter Quennell

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Tamtam is reporting that Perugia is to get two long-haul escalators, up to the high level of the walled city.

One will be from the parking facility (Saint Anthony) directly above Meredith’s house to this high-point of the walled city - scroll down for those beautiful steps that it will in effect complement or replace.

And the other will be up to the university’s main campus, below where Sollecito and Guede lived, from the busy via Pascoli deep in the valley below.

Good news for walkers on the hot days Perugia has just seen, and good news for car-parkers as well - it should relieve even more the relatively small volume of vehicles that enter the central piazza area during the day.

That above is obviously not one of the Perugia escalators - it is actually at 120 meters the present longest escalator in the world measured vertically. It is at the new Park Pobedy station in Moscow.

With its autostradas and railway and buses and new monorail and very fast ring-roads, Perugia is already really easy to get to and around.

Nothing beats walking within the walled city though. Check Corso Vanucci any evening to find out.

Perugia Is Now Seeing One Of Its Periodic Heat-Wave Emergencies

Posted by Peter Quennell

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Temperatures hit 40 degrees Selsius (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit) several times each summer.

Perugia is essentially a non-air-conditioned city and it would be technically very tough to convert. And moving around it involves a lot of walking up and down a lot of steep steps and steep streets.

If the heat stays that high for several days in a row, an emergency has to be declared. There are a lot of emergency municipal systems now in place to help the citizens to take care of it, and the Municipal Operations Center remains open throughout.

Fortunately the city population will be down by many thousands right now, as August is the main vacation month in Europe, and except for the summer schools the universities will largely be quiet. 

For those that choose to remain or that have to remain, they have been advised to drink plenty of fluids, stay indoors or in shaded and cool areas during the hottest periods, ventilate their homes by opening all shutters, take extra showers. And travel to nearby places where there actually is some air conditioning. 

The view above is of the south end of the walled city, the end away from from Meredith’s house. Some distance directly behind here is Capanne, and, much further away, Rome.

We don’t know if Capanne’s new prison is air-conditioned but Italy’s prisons are generally not. A cause for some not very effective complaining.

Increasing Drug Clampdown In Perugia - Is It Case-Related?

Posted by Peter Quennell

Perugia has taken a lot of knocks in the past one-year-plus for being way too tolerant of drugs.

“Cocaine capital” and other comparisons hardly encourage the tourism or (we hope!) the student enrolments.

Click above for the latest (in Italian) in a stream of stories suggesting a major hit-back is now in progress. This story involved two pairs of drug-dealers (one Albanian, one Tunisian) dealing in large quantities of hashish and cocaine.

A connection? We don’t know. Cops don’t talk readily about this kind of stuff. But the size of the clampdown is unusual.

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Italian Media Is Reporting On The House Now The Owner Has It Back

Posted by Peter Quennell

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Above: the panoramic view, from north-east to north-west, that Meredith would have looked out onto from her window.

The last shot above is approximately in the direction of her family and her home in the UK.

Meredith’s room and other places in the house where there was still trace-evidence of her murder were cleaned over the weekend.

Her books, photos and other personal items, all of which her family want back, were long ago removed as evidence. They are in police custody and all will end up in their possession.

This afternoon the owner through her lawyer made the house available to the two other women who lived upstairs and the men who lived downstairs. They and their families and representatives were invited to come by and collect all their possessions.

ANSA reports that only Knox’s father Curt Knox showed up.

Meredith’s two flatmates Filomena and Laura did not appear, though it is believed that they still live in Perugia. Apparently none of the boys showed up either.

Knox’s father filled a plastic bag and a suitcase with Amanda Knox’s gear. He left the house in the rain. “Personal things of my daughter,” he said to journalists without wanting to reveal what they were.

Apparently the items did include mountain-climbing gear. Knox to our knowledge had not done any climbing in Europe prior to her being arrested.

The interior of 7 Via della Pergola has apparently so far not been made available to any journalists. But it seems the owner has received big offers for exclusive pictures.

Craftsmen have already begun installing bars on the windows, to make the house more secure in the future. They are also assessing the interior work needed to make the place once again rentable.

A woman who was apparently the wife of one of the craftsmen entered the cottage with a holy picture. She left it in the room where Meredith breathed her last.

A pity that the owner seems less caring.

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Owner Says The House Will Be Available For Rent

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click for the report by Nick Pisa.

Seems to us a sad and rather disrespectful move. But the owner (who is retired) may have her own pressures. Apparently some compensation from the state will be claimed.

And it is again wrenching to read about the state of the interior, and the fact that some terrible signs of Meredith’s final fight for her life have never ever been removed.

There have been suggestions in the past that the action most respectful to Meredith would be to simply pull the place down, and add the land to the existing orchard.

Kermit did a Powerpoint presentation of why this rather strange house came to be, just outside of and below the city wall.

Our own shots of the house are here and here and here.

End To A Long And Unnecessary Charade Over The House

Posted by Peter Quennell

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ANSA is reporting that the Court of Assizes of Perugia has acceded to the request of the owner of 7 Via Pergola to have his house back.

Well over one year ago the prosecutors had no objection to this. The crime scene had been thoroughly processed many weeks before, and there was no further evidentiary value.

However, the defense teams claimed they might want to run various tests and inspections. These happened only many months later. We posted on them here and here.

Nothing of value that we are aware of ever emerged from these exercises. If anything, they failed, rather conspicuously.

During the period of the very long defense-induced delay, the house was suspiciously broken into, twice, and the contents was severely disarrayed. Amazingly, defense supporters tried to win points out of this.

So the crime scene was processed well over one year ago, and everything since was pure distraction. And where Meredith lived for two months has been thoroughly desecrated.

We’re glad the defenses are FINALLY calling it quits on this sad charade.

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Walled City South: The Piazza Italia

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

Probably this is as far south as Meredith normally walked in the city.

Likely she walked to this spot many evenings, as almost everyone does. The sunset (bottom shot) is a major, major draw.

The Piazza Italia is at the south end of the high butte as this shot shows. These first shots are of the famous views south, toward Rome.

They are something to really linger over, as many people do, and their mood changes constantly. And there seem to be many small free events at night under the trees and along the balustrade there. Art shows, musicians and the like. 

At bottom here, the ornate Palazzo del Governo for the provence of Umbria.

A magical area at night. As Meredith surely knew.

Shots Of The Winding Roads Up - And Up

Posted by Peter Quennell

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Ah! The joys of driving Perugia.

Seriously. This is one of the most fun cities to drive in Italy, because of the wonderful streets, the relative absence of traffic, and the swooping climbs up and down. Meredith would have enjoyed this, even if she mostly took a bus.

Many streets below the walled city to the south and the west resemble these first five shots. Many streets 10outside the walled city to the north and the east resemble the second five shots. 

The shot above is from the exact same spot as the last two shots in the post below: in front of the railway station. (The last shot was of the Co-op, a major retail store Meredith surely shopped in.)

After this straight stretch up, the street up makes 10 zigs and 10 zags and you’re there. Either at the south end of the walled city (Piazza Italia), or if you took a left at a y-junction, you’ll be below the School for Foreigners.

The second five shots are of the street 10outside the “gate” at the top end of Garibaldi. Sollecito’s street. Sollecito would have used that gate frequently to drive down to the engineering school in the valley to the west.

Continue for about a mile on the street that passes the gate - which swoops way down and way up again - and you’ll be at Meredith’s house.

The last shot is from above and behind Meredith’s house.

These five shots are of the street outside the “gate” at the top end of Garibaldi. Sollecito’s street. Sollecito would have used that gate frequently to drive down to the engineering school in the valley to the west.

Continue for about a mile on the street that passes the gate - which swoops way down and way up again - and you’ll be at Meredith’s house. The last shot is from above and behind Meredith’s house.

Shots Of The Stazione di Perugia!

Posted by Peter Quennell

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Perugia’s central railway station. Quiet right now, in these shots, but a busy place at most other times of the day.

The track south (shots 1 and 2) heads for points south and east of Perugia, and of course for Rome, about an hour away. The track north (shots 3 and 4) loops around to the west, and eventually heads for Florence, Bologne and Milan.

This station seems to enter the story on five occasions.

Meredith first arrived here, and would have walked through one of those doors and that waiting room with her bags to the piazza out front, presumably to take a taxi home on that first day.

Knox arrived here at least twice, and departed (back to Germany) at least once. And Sollecito once had a deal with a Polish woman, to drop her off here on the night in question. Which she then canceled.

Thus providing time enough for Sollecito to do mischief. Seemingly, considerable mischief.

Close Shots Of The Walled City From The West

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

Three shots of the south end of the massif: the Piazza Italia end with its great views.

And three shots of the north end with the main campus of the university and, behind, the locations where the events of the case took place. Three or four roads zizag up to the top on this west side.

In places, you can see the city wall, which at times seems more like a landscaping feature than the wall of a fortress. Extensively modified in places, but much of it is in great condition.

Long Shots Of The Walled City From The West

Posted by Peter Quennell

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Great early-morning views, from an olive-covered hillside two miles to the west. There is a restaurant and communications gear on the top of this hill.

The shots below are a panoramic view from the south to the north. Most of the events of this case took place behind the left end of the massif.

In the valley at the center of these shots are the railway station, the Faculty of Engineering where Sollecito was enrolled, and the household shopping stores the girls probably used.

It is hard to see, but there is a small one-car overhead railway running up the hill to the walled city. Buses are excellent, but the girls may have used this fast system.

Shots Of Modern West Perugia

Posted by Peter Quennell

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This light industry and this housing is on the flat land a couple of miles from the walled city.

Perugia extends to the west and the south more than it does to the east and the much more hilly north. The main game in town of course is higher education, but all of the businesses you see here seemed to be prospering.

Chocolate is maybe the largest of the manufacturing industries. There are a lot of sub-offices. Perugia of course is less than 90 minutes drive from Rome, and all along the main highways you see development similar to this.

A prosperous town by the look of it. The roads and communications are excellent, and the housing of a high standard. And it is a pretty and fun place to live.

Shots Of Perugia’s Far West

Posted by Peter Quennell

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Shots of The Patio: One Of Perugia’s Nicest Hotels

Posted by Peter Quennell

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It’s hard to find better. In fact, it’s a little hard to find any. The only alternative to the El Patio appears to be the Golf, which is pricier.

There are several very lovely old hotels right off the main piazzas. They do cost more though, and have limited parking. Otherwise, even in daylight, hotels of any kind seem hard to find around Perugia.

As you might deduce from the previous post, the El Patio is on the western outskirts of Perugia. It took over an hour to spot it, late in the evening, after some fruitless cruising closer to downtown.

It’s about 15 years old and is rather oddly located. This makes it a real bargain in terms of the room price. In July, a large room with a huge balcony cost just over $100. Rather cheap by European standards.

From the El Patio, there is a very fast route via the autostrada to all points central. El Patio has a good pool, and hotel-room internet of sorts. And that huge expanse of onyx the bar and counter are made of? They glows softly at night.

Let’s see here. Knox and her sister stayed in a hotel “twenty minutes away” when she first visited Perugia to find a place to live.

This one? Conceivable. 

Google Earth Images Of The Walled City Of Perugia

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House Area: An Exceptionally Lovely Area By Fiori [INCOMPLETE]

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Mapquest Maps Of The Walled City Of Perugia

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Downloaded Maps Of The Walled City Of Perugia

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