My friend Megan is visiting from San Diego, having already conquered Rome, and Naples she’s here in Umbria for a few days before heading on to Florence and the Cinque Terre. Today we went to Assisi with our friend Anne Robichaud, a certified guide here in Umbria who I’ve known for 15 years and who found my mother’s family in Gubbio many years ago. Picture the scene in Chevy Chase's European Vacation where they knock on the door to the relatives house, not knowing any of the language and being invited in—fortunately we found our relatives, Chevy and his family weren’t so fortunate.
Assisi is all about St. Francis, and St. Claire and their missions to the poor, and the biggest news to hit here since the Saint died is the newest Pope who chose the name Francis. When I was here in the spring one day the bells in Assisi peeled for what seemed like hours, in celebration of the announcement that Pope Francis would visit here for the feast of St. Francis on October 4.
This is a beautiful pink city on a hill, with winding streets, beautiful art, and friendly people. Most of all Assisi is a city of peace, you feel it walking the streets, in the churches (which don’t just feel like empty buildings, as so many European churches can feel) and you feel the peace of St. Francis’ sacred mountain, Mt. Subasio. Here is a sample of our day, I’ll fill in with the amazing meal we had at lunch in another post.
|Entrance to the lower basilica|
|Beautiful fresco in Piazza del Commune|
|Anne Robichaud giving the tour|
|Beautiful day and great view of Santa Maria degli Angeli|
|Rare to see the "Poor Claires" out and about|
|Clothing stores are a bit different here|
|Beautiful countryside at the bottom of the hill|