Blogs from Assisi, Umbria, Italy, Europe - page 5


Europe » Italy » Umbria » Assisi June 21st 2008

Day 11 - On our way to Rome with a stop in Assisi We left Florence for Rome with a short tour and lunch in Assisi which also sits atop a hill within the Umbria region of Italy. Umbria is the only land-locked region of the 20 regions within Italy. I found the Umbria countryside some of the most scenic of the trip so far. Because our included dinner in Florence was a flop, our TD arranged to provide a free personal guide through the Basilica di San Francesco. Aside from Jesus, no single individual has had such an impact on Catholic and Italian culture. Our guide did an excellent job of linking the vision and message of Francis to that of Italy's birth of the renaissance era. The Basilica at Assisi is really three churches ... read more
Entering the basilica gates
The steps to the entrance to the basilica. On the right side.
Dawn at the base of the steps to the basilica

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Assisi June 19th 2008

We hop on the train to get to Assisi early in the morning, to have one of the funniest moments of my life. We walked into a shop to purchase some souvenirs to find some good finds! We make our choices, and we make our way to the cash register... all the while surrounded by religious articles in the middle of a city known for its strong connection to the Catholic faith. We are then met by a spry older lady who very carefully and meticulously (and may I say slowly) wrapped up everything for us... but with a very dry sarcastic attitude in every word we exchanged. She makes her way to a back room to find a box for the statue we had purchased, and she is less than satisfied that it wasn't the ... read more
more beautiful scenery!
St. Francis Basilica

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Assisi June 2nd 2008

In our last must do, most important and most urgent visit there can be no better place to choose than Assisi following in the steps of St Francis. I had thought that it might a tacky place full of nuns and priests on pilgrimage and others coming for the sightseeing. Millions do attend the basilica as an act of faith but many like us for the views across the valley and the frescoes in the chapels. Parking is excellent. I guess because bus loads come in that they need good parking. It isn’t far to walk up the gates in to the town. There is a long street reaching from the town gates to the square in front of the basilica. The streets are lined with shops, churches and cafes. The street does though feel very ... read more
St Gimignano

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Assisi March 7th 2008

After going through a tough breakup with Paris, I've lately had a wonderful time rediscovering my obsession with Italy. I did love France, but Italy simply has the best of everything. The best March weather, the best food, the best coffee (Starbucks is based off Italian coffee shops after all). Then there's the exquisite churches and museums, the alluring street markets and the most exquisitely beautiful countryside I've ever seen. I'm still completely happy with my decision to study here, and classes are also going very well. Since my grades from this semester transfer back to Drake as credits only and don't count towards my GPA, it's extremely liberating to be in school without the pressure of school. I'm still striving to do well of course, but my work isn't stressing me out or overtaking my ... read more
Franciscan Monk
Town on the Mountain
The Girls

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Assisi January 14th 2008

We went to Assisi the first weekend here for orientation. Assisi is absolutely gorgeous, even in neverending rain! It is so clean and beautiful that it almost seems like a fake town on a movie set or something. The streets are small and fairly easy to navigate. It is very easy to just wander around (there aren't even any stoplights). The first day my group had a workshop and some freetime. Even though it was pouring and freezing, we decided to walk around the town and find some caffe. We found a really pretty little pastry shop and got some delicious sweets and espresso. It took us hours to dry out though! The next day we had a walking tour through Assisi to St. Francis's basicilca. It was only drizzling, so walking through the streets we ... read more

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Assisi December 5th 2007

We finished the olive harvest at San Fortunato November 27. the family took morgan, jenna and i to a great seafood ristorante tucked high in the hills(strange for seafood) called 'piccolo mondo'. They also finally showed us the chapel on the farm where the monks met for mass. We didnt have a farm lined up because we had finished the olive harvest earlier than expected. luckily though, morgan's friendliness and charm got a friend of the family to invite us to stay with her for a few days. Rosella had stopped by to help with the olive harvest once or twice a week. she is friendly and energetic and would often break out her italian opera voice while picking olives. she was Adriana's tai chi and yoga teacher. she knows yoga but is a master in ... read more
Our Last meal at San Fortunato
Rossella Tai Chi Master
Morgan Working Soil

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Assisi October 31st 2007

Hi everyone,We are in Tuscany now, it has been really hard to find an internet cafe. So we need to catch up, I hope I don't forget stuff. It's Oct 31 (Happy Halloween!!) and we left Assisi last Saturday. Just to touch on Assisi, Dan & I really enjoy this town. It is absolutely gorgeous. On our last day in Assisi we went to one of the most moving churches, San Domineco. This is where Saint Clare spent her days. She devoted her life to God. It was a very charming place and very moving. The church is runned by the Friers now and they were very kind.Our final evening there, we had a wonderful meal and then we decided to stroll the town before going to bed. We came across a choir singing in one ... read more
Banfi Vineyard
Banfi Vineyard
Olive tree near Banfi

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Assisi October 25th 2007

We drove from Ravenna to San Marino, a hill top town overlooking the Umbria valley. Normally the town is very scenic and full of tourists, but today the weather was raining and the clouds hung low. We didn't see any views and most places were closed. However, we did manage to walk around and find a great place for lunch. After lunch and another bottle of wine, we decided to head out for the beautiful town of Assisi. After an hour drive we arrived in Assisi. This is a famous town due to Saint Francis of Assisi and the church he built. This town is full of nuns, monks, friers and priests. It is one of the prettiest town we have ever seen, and a must go to if you are ever in Italy. The church ... read more
Pigeon Bath in Assisi

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Assisi September 4th 2007

We were sad to leave Rome, but excited to start the 'travelling' part of our tour. We headed south from Rome via Monte Cassino to Pompeii - what an amazing city frozen in time. It was extrememly hot (and some of the yanks whinged like there was something our guide could do!) but we really enjoyed it. We saw some bars (with wine holders), some residential homes (with gardens and everything) and then Luke's favourite - the red light district - complete with beds and even the girls 'menus' written above their rooms! From Pompeii, we continued on to Sorrento for 2 nights. We just loved Sorrento so much - so laid back, yet so charming. We joined an optional tour and had a seafood dinner in a restaurant right on the water - literally - ... read more
On the Water
View from the Top

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Assisi July 4th 2007

St Francis of Assisi .. remember the name? He was the wealthy nobleman who forewent all his riches to become a monk and help the common man. Well this village was his home and it remains today a fully functioning religious city complete with many wonderful churches, a castle and , of course, a spectacular Basilica. Lots of monks and nuns can be seen to be running around in their robes as they live inside the walls .. and because it is a functional religious city, it is less prone to the tourist hoardes. So this means a very tranquil place to idle away summer afternoons and evenings in one of the many exquisite restaurants .. and of course, the art in the cathedrals is the stuff of legend that you read about in the ... read more

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