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Published: November 4th 2010
Day 9 Spoleto-Assisi-Spoleto
We took a morning train to Assisi (about 40 minutes), and then a bus up into the city. I really wanted to see the cave where St. Francis had meditated, which is about 4 kilometers outside of town, in woods that are still much the way they were in Francis’s time. We discovered that no public transportation goes out there, only taxis, of which we saw none.
So….we started walking. It was a gorgeous blue sky day. The trees were brilliant colors and the olives were ready for harvest all along the road. The road however, started to climb, and I started to hitch-hike…we were both well dressed, and I thought someone might stop, even just out of curiosity, since no one hitch-hikes in Italy. And car full of twentysomethings did stop! They made room in their very small car for us, and our day changed for the better. Stefano, Dafne, and Giulia were recently graduated or current university students from Perugia, and Carmen was from Spain. They were very knowledgeable about Assisi and the world in general. We toured the site together, with lots of information from our new companions.
Starting our walk to the cave
I've begun to hitch hike about this time...
back down the mountain with them and took them up on their offer to walk through Assisi together. After a picnic lunch overlooking the valley and a political discussion, we were joined by Giulia’s uncle, who works for the cultural branch of the local government and knows Assisi inside out. For the rest of the afternoon, he took us on a guided tour of the city, during which we added his friend, a local poet, to our group. Our heads are still reeling from all the information! After the uncle left us, we all walked towards the bus stop, visiting one last church. The docent was eager to show us around and unlocked the crypt for us and then took us to the museum...it was bit spooky to be locked in with him in these rooms under the church!
We said a fond farewell to the group in the early evening, with promises to get in touch when we go the Perugia this weekend, and returned to the train station. At the station we ran into a couple we had seen a few times in Spoleto, and found out they are Dutch and planning to hike from Spoleto to
Rome starting tomorrow!
Sometimes good things turn out to be not so great (our apartment is filled with street noise for too much of the night) and bad things (no bus to St Francis’s cave) bring wonderful surprises….
Tomorrow we take the train to Spello and Trevi, two more hill towns.
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