A Central Province Of Italy, also called Umbria, formerly a delegation of the Papal States, bordering on Arezzo, Pesaro ed Urbino, Ancona, Macerata, Ascoli-Piceno, Aquila, Rome, and Siena; area, 3,720 sq. m.; pop. in 1872, 549,601. Almost the entire surface is covered with spurs of the Apennines, the main chain of which runs along the N. and E. frontiers. The Tiber flows through the middle of the province. Although the face of the country is generally hilly, there are many wide and fruitful plains. The principal products are corn, wine, fruits, oil, and silk. Cattle, sheep, and swine are numerous, and much attention is paid to the rearing of poultry and bees. Large supplies of wood are sent to Rome. The chief manufactures are cotton, woollen, and silk goods. The province is divided into the districts of Perugia, Foligno, Orvieto, Rieti, Spoleto, and Terni. The lake of Perugia or Trasimeno (anc. Thrasymenus) is in the N. W. part of the province, 9 m. W. of the city of Perugia. Its height above the sea is about 850 ft., its length 10 m., its greatest breadth 7 m., and its depth not over 30 ft. It has no visible outlet, and the surface is gradually rising from the constant deposit of alluvial matter. It is surrounded by low hills covered with oaks and pines, and with numerous plantations of olives.
It contains the three islands of Polvese, Mag-giore, and Minore. Near Passignano, on the N. E. side of the lake, is supposed to be the place of the battle fought in 217 B. C. between Hannibal and the Romans. H A city (anc. Perusia), capital of the province, 84 m. N. of Rome, on a high hill, on the left bank of the Tiber; pop. about 18,500. It is surrounded by ancient walls, the greater part of which, with the gates, are well preserved. The most important of the numerous churches are the Duo-mo or cathedral and the churches of San Francesco and San Domenico. The town house, the old exchange, and the citadel, built by Pope Paul III., are noteworthy. Perugia is a bishop's see, and has a university founded in 1307, with a library of 30,000 volumes, a botanic garden, a mineralogical collection, and a cabinet of antiquities. The academy of fine arts has several good pictures of the Umbrian school. The necropolis of Perugia was discovered in 1840, and several remarkable tombs have been unearthed, disclosing urns, bronze armor and weapons, coins, inscriptions, and other Etruscan remains.
The manufactures consist principally of soap, brandy and liqueurs, silks, and woollens. - Perugia is first mentioned in history in 310 B. C, as one of the most powerful cities of Etruria. It was engaged in several wars with Rome, but was ultimately obliged to succumb to its power. In 41 B. C. it became conspicuous in the civil war between Octavius and L. Antonius, the latter throwing himself into the city and sustaining a desperate siege. He was forced to capitulate at the beginning of 40, and Perugia was burned down, having been accidentally set on fire. It soon became again a flourishing city, was a place of much importance in the Gothic wars, subsequently became a free municipal town, suffered greatly from the contests of the Guelphs and Ghibellines, and in 1416 fell, into the power of the con-dottiere Forte Brac-cio, who made it the capital of his principality. It was not till 1520 that the papal power was firmly established there by Leo X. In 1859 its revolted inhabitants were treated with exceeding severity by the papal troops, and in 1860 it was annexed to the possessions of Victor Emanuel.