Friday, January 8, 2010

Roma (part 2)

Sorry, sorry, sorry. I know it has been many days since I posted part 1 of our Rome adventure. Well, here comes part 2! Hopefully part 3 won't be too far behind.

Day 2: AssisiThis is the view from the Basilica of St. Francis, looking down on the valley. Obviously, it was quite misty that day. We actually had a light rain/heavy mist the entire day.

Assisi was incredible. After a two hour train ride from Rome, we arrived at the Assisi train station, which is actually a few miles from the base of the mountain that Assisi is on. Rather than catching the bus up the mountain, we first opted to visit the Portiuncula (the small church that St. Francis rebuilt.) The church itself is tiny and has an entire Basilica built around it. Inside the Basilica is also the room where St. Francis died, a museum and, this time of year, creche displays from all over the world.

The Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, housing the Portiuncula

We then progressed up the mountain via bus to visit Assisi. The town of Assisi is built into the side of Mount Subiaso. There are many different levels to the town and it seems like every major church we wanted to see was on different levels. This was a really exhausting day and I swear we climbed up and down the mountain too many times! In the end, totally worth it. Our first stop was the Basilica of St. Francis.

Our first view of the Basilica

Inside the Basilica are both upper and lower churches. Both have beautiful artwork (I didn't take any pictures inside - I am weird about taking pictures inside churches) but definitely the highlight was visiting St. Francis' crypt. Also, viewing his belongings - his robe, shoes, breviary. It was an amazing thing to see these things, knowing that St. Francis used them. Incredible.

The Basilica of St Francis

After this, we wandered Assisi for awhile. We were actually looking for somewhere to eat, but many things were either closed or way to expensive. Also, we didn't have a good map of the town, so we ended up sort of lost (although I know Jason won't admit that we were lost.) After eating and more wandering, we came upon the Cathedral of Assisi, the parish church of both Francis and Clare and the place where both were baptized. They actually still have the baptismal font from Francis and Clare.

Cathedral of Assisi, dedicated to San Rufino

After more wandering up and down hills, we visited the Basilica of St. Clare. St. Clare's had a number of very cool things - the top two being St. Clare herself (incorrupt) and THE cross of San Damiano. I wasn't able to get any pictures at this point since it was starting to rain quite a bit and it was getting dark. But, we thought of Sophia when we saw the outside of the church - it has pink stripes! We attempted to make it over to the church of San Damiano, but it was closed by the time we hiked our way over there. Next time.

After a long day of hiking, we took the bus back down the mountain with plans to have dinner near the train station before heading back to Rome. However, there were no restaurants open for dinner at 6:30 in the evening. We walked all over trying to find something, with no luck. Sadly, we ended up eating at a McDonalds before getting on the train. Not exactly how I planned on eating while in Italy.

So, though the day was long, it was a great experience. The architecture, the artwork, the relics- it was worth the sore feet! Next time, we will plan on staying overnight in Assisi and hopefully be able to break up some of the mountain climbing!

1 comment:

Bianca said...

beautiful pic's of Assisi! When we were there, we opted out of Assisi (due to the length of the trip and the hiking involved) and went to Siena instead. Next time I go to Italy, I will definitely have to go to Assisi!

What a beauitful place!!

Did you take a Frommer's guide with you? Usually they have good places to eat and can let you know how expensive they are too.