Monday, July 5, 2010


Oh, man! I love Assisi!  It is this wonderful little town in the (province, territory, something like that) of Umbria.  It's a walled, hill-top village, with a long history dating back to 295 B.C. when the Umbrians lived there.  The current village was built mostly in the middle ages, so it is almost all gothic style, which I absolutely love!  I like it so much more than all the classical renaissance that Rome has - I guess its just because its so much more romantic. . . I could almost see my knight-in-shining-armour (Clint) riding up to carry me off to one of the two castles the town boasts. . . ah well!  Maybe next time : ) Anyway!  Below the current city, there are still existing ruins of the more ancinent Roman village, which you can still see when you go underground in some places.  Its all very exciting!

We basically were allowed to do whatever we wanted, with the instruction that it would be good to sketch, so I did sketch a bit, but I don't have any of them in digital format yet, so you'll have to be satisfied with pictures!

I took some road pictures of the beautiful Italian country-side!

And of our bus driver asking for directions:

And the view from our hotel's outdoor dining area:

And some views walking to town:

We got there Friday around noon, so Sarada and I went on this wild goose chase until I took over the directions and led us to some sights.  We first went to the Basilica of Saint Chiara, which was begun in 1257.

I also went and saw the Cathedral of Saint Rufino (built in 1140).  This cathedral also had a lovely muesum in the basement where you could see ancient ruins along with some other stunning artwork.

That night, Sarada and I wanted pasta for dinner, so we were looking for a place to eat, but all we could find were pizzarias, so we finally asked some lady, and she said, oh, follow this woman.  So, we did, and she took us to her restaruant, where I had the most delicious lasagna!

The next morning, we decided to hike up to the Hermitage of St. Francis (on the advice of some other American tourists who said it was a long, lovely hike).  So, we started out from our hotel, and two hours later, were still hiking away.  At this point, a taxi stopped by and asked if we wanted to take a taxi to the top.  We asked how much further it was and we still had 3 kilometers to go!  So, we gratefully paid the two euros per person and took a taxi the rest of the way!  But it was well worth the hike/taxi fare, becuase it was so beautiful and peaceful up there!  There were tons of trees, so it was all shady and cool and breezy (I even got goosebumps, it was so cool).

After we got back into town, we went to this church in the town square where some really ancient Egyptian columns were located in an older temple to Minerva (I'm not sure which ones these were, but still, it was cool!)

We also went to the Basilica of Saint Frances (1228 - 1253).  This was a great church!  It has three levels; the top two are basilicas, and the bottom one is the crypt.  When I took the stairs down to the middle level basilica, I heard "How Great Thou Art" being sung in English!  It turned out, a mass was being held in one of the chapels down there, in English, so I listened in. . .

It is always nice to go into churches in the middle of the day because no matter how hot it is outside, it is always cool inside, thanks to the thick stone walls!

Sunday we went up to Rocca Maggiore (the big castle) which was first built in 1174 (later rebuilt in 1367).

Well!  I guess it was a good weekend - I took 279 picutres, so it must have been!

Today, though, school starts in earnest (we got our studio assignment), so my group is planing on working on that this afternoon, but not until after I've made a delicious lunch from my Italian cookbook!  Ciao!

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