Our hostel in Parugia was cheap, massive, had an amazing view of the town from its balcony, was immaculately clean and had a funny old man running it (that took 40 minutes to check the four of us in as he checked our passports and stuffed around doing something that I’m sure he thought was important but only seemed to make everything slower). It was also strict, with a cleaning lock-out from 9:30am until 4pm, the kitchen open from 7:30pm until 10pm, the balcony and upstairs area closed at 12am and a lockout at 1am. We called it the Hitler Hostel.
Parugia’s another university town. It’s beautiful and has a vibe similar to Bordeaux. We went exploring up and down the main street on the Saturday night when we arrived, nearly drowning in the sea of young people who seemed to only be walking up and down the road, eating gelato or sitting on the massive set of steps in front of some building that I never determined the purpose of.
We decided to treat ourselves to some pizza and beer on our own set of stairs before we practically crashed in our beds from travel exhaustion. It was probably a good thing that the curfew was 1am as it meant we made the effort to get to sleep earlier than we had been for the last few nights due to partying in Riomaggiore.
Kate’s Lonely Planet had a few suggestions for activies to try in Parugia for the next day. We ignored them and spent time sleeping in the shade by a church while a wedding went underway, then Al and I shared a big fat pizza then had a quiet beer from a vantage point overlooking another part of town. We thought the drunken South American we’d all met on the bus during the day who continued to try speaking to us even though we told him we couldn’t understand him would be the only oddball we’d run into. To our delight, Al and I got to witness an older man who’d come to the same overlook for a peaceful read in the shade. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t begin without a cigarette. He cheerily walked up to every single invidiual that passed by and did his best to beg for a freebie but time and time again he was refused a nicotine hit. Eventually, after spying two young girls who’d just sat down and lit up, he snuck up towards them using trees as cover until he casually walked past them and asked for a cigarette like it was sheer coincidence that they’d ever met. A little scared, the girls gave in to his request and lit him up. He sat down and contently read, never again bothering to move the whole time we were there.
That evening we all ended up drinking beers on the balcony in front of the amazing view. More people from the hostel ended up joining us and by accident we’d started a mini party. We chatted away the hours with more Americans, Swedes and Brits until midnight when we were kicked off the floor. I’d polished off the perfect amount of 660mL, 0.90 and 1 Euro beers so I walked up and back on the main street to clear my head and made it into bed before the curfew.