Buongiorno tutti! It is hot and I am tired, but more importantly, Assisi!! That’s right! The home of St. Francis himself (or San Francesco if you’re Italian).

The day started out with a train at 9:00 am, so I said goodbye to Melinda and Elizabeth (who were still able to sleep, lucky jerks), and headed off to the station to meet up with the rest of the Ciao Italia group.

After taking a nice train ride (1½ hours), we arrived at the Assisi train station (which in reality is part of a suburb of Assisi called Maria degli Angeli).



We then visited the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli. We weren’t allowed to take pictures of the inside, but it reminded me a lot of my old parish at home, St. Ann’s. It had the same feel. And smell. All churches smell the same. It’s kind of weird.


Saint Francis!

See that monster church? That's Santa Maria.

But anyway. After that, we hopped on a bus to get as close to the Rocco d’Assisi as possible. Of course, this was still a difficult climb, especially since it was ridiculously hot. But the view at the top was so worth it.

Oh, Assisi...

Valley behind Assisi.

Rocco (Fortress) of Assisi.

Oh, and this is Professor Houston.


Hi, Professor!

After walking around the super cool castle (that was once a fortress, but it was really more against the people of Assisi because they didn’t like the people who ‘ruled’ them) we headed downwards to grab some lunch.

After lunch, we walked over to the Basilica di San Francesco. It is really beautiful and there are in fact two churches. One is above the other. Basically, there was so much stuff that they wanted to put in that they couldn’t fit it in the church that was already there. So they built another one. Go figure.


It was really interesting.

And had a monastery!

Following the Basilica, we wandered down to the bus station, grabbed one back to the train station and then waited around for an hour for the 5:17 pm train. We happened to end up in an air-conditioned carriage (Grazie a Dio!) and most of us promptly fell asleep. Walking around Assisi was absolutely exhausting.

I then waited around in Piazza Guido Monaco for my host family. Since I didn’t actually know what my host mother looked like, and she didn’t know what I looked like, I hoped that my luggage and lost expression would be a clue. And it was!

I was picked up and taken to their apartment (which, by the way, is very nice). I had this amazing chicken salad sandwich (I think?) for dinner and then collapsed into bed. After a very nice chat in Italian. ^_^

Interesting Stories of the Day:

  • When we wandered inside Santa Maria degli Angeli, they were having mass. I kind of felt like a horrible person for not participating. Catholic guilt for the win.
  • We kept running into these University of Minnesota (?) students. At the Rocco, at lunch, it was ridiculous. They were very nice though.
  • Also, the oldest picture of Saint Francis is located inside the Basilica di San Francesco. All the drawings inside were originally done by Cimabue, but later his student, Giotto, was commissioned to go over his work with a more ‘modern’ style. Giotto did this, but left Cimabue’s Saint Francis alone, even though it kind of looks out of place with what was put next to it. It was commissioned sooner after Saint Francis’ death than any other representation of him, making it, most likely, the closest to the reality of how he looked during life.
A dopo!


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