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The best thing for the first-time Perugia visitor to do is go to the tourist office and ask for the book of self-guided walks. It is an incredibly detailed guide with maps of 5 different walks through the old centre and descriptions and pictures of the various points of interest along the way. If they only have the book in Italian, take it anyway: the maps and pictures need no explanation and you will recognise many of the words in the text since English has many words derived from Latin.
If you can, start your walk early, break for the long (and delicious) Italian lunch and resume your walk late in the afternoon. You will thus find more monuments open to view. But even if you do walk during the lunch and siesta time when everything is closed, the narrow streets, ancient arches and building facades will still fascinate.