May 22, 2011 § 4 Comments
After spending a week in Cortona, I didn’t think I would find any city in Italy more beautiful than Cortona. But that was just because I hadn’t been to Assisi yet. Assisi is one of the most historically monumental cities in Italy, as it is home to the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi, where St. Francis is buried. To go into detail about the importance of St. Francis would take way too long, but if you’re interested in reading about the history of the city and St. Francis, it really is quite fascinating and totally worth looking into.
We loaded up the bus this morning and headed to Assisi, about an hour and a half away. The drive there took us through Perugia, which is another beautiful part of Tuscany. Once off the bus, I once again started my day with a cappuccino, but added a special treat this time. Steven, I asked for sfogliatelle, and I hope this is what it is, because it was puff pastry filled with a creamy custard and topped with thin apple slices. If this wasn’t it, I hope it was close!
We walked through the city until we were in the main piazza. Assisi was full of people, most of them American, but there were also groups of people from all over, from Britain to Japan. As a result, Assisi was much more touristy than Cortona, and shops with cheap trinkets and knick-knacks could be found at every turn. But as we walked through the city and found a place to have lunch, I managed to find a few of the more beautiful, isolated parts of the city.
Lunch was good, a simple penne pasta with sausage and cream. Nothing too exciting or very picturesque, although it did cost around 13 euros. I’ve found that even the simplest of meals can still cost you around $15 or $20, which is just the price of living in Italy, I suppose.
After lunch, we had some free time until we took a tour of the Basilica, so a few of us roamed the back streets of Assisi and found some amazing views, beautiful doors (I have become the running joke of the trip, as I constantly hear people yell back to me, “SARAH! There’s a REALLY GREAT door up here!” or “Man, this city is just FULL of good doors!”), and a restaurant with a view that I could see myself eating at every single day.
I wasn’t allowed to take pictures once I got into the Basilica, but I think the 200 I took for my few hours in Assisi made up for it. Assisi was an absolutely beautiful city, and I wish I had had more time to spend there, exploring every little narrow side street that I walked past.
We left that afternoon, heading back to Cortona with heads nodding and people curled up in their seats. Our first field trip really took it out of us, but it’s just one of the many to come in the next few weeks.
Italy is easily the most amazing place I’ve ever been, and there’s a good chance I may never come home…allowing that my bank account can handle the outrageous euro exchange rate for a little while longer.