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Monday, August 27, 2012

Our Italian experience continues..

Temperature 31-26-17-24 Some rain just as we arrived is Assisi. The first they’ve seen in 3 months apparently. View from our accommodation


Basilica di San Francesco - Assisi

Street theatre

  Sunday 26th August

Time to move on again and after Graham expertly reversed the car out of the garage (there was no other option) and then down the very narrow one-way lane, we were on our way- headed for Assisi. Address in the GPS for accommodation and we thought we were set. We certainly experienced some of the hill country and noticed the temperature drop. We drove many winding roads, saw evidence of recent road works and the construction of new roads and tunnels through mountains. Being Sunday we’d noticed that most shops were closed but just a few kms before our destination we saw a supermarket open, so stocked up on the basics for meals
When we thought we had arrived, we were obviously close but in the wrong place. The locals at number 59 spoke no English and we had no Italian but they did manage to understand the name of Mario who owned the airbnb at  number 57. They gave us some directions to follow just up the hill and around the corner. Well we did that and then found another chap who told us that we’d gone too far and eventually we found where we needed to be.
We were met by Mario Fossa our host and were shown to our apartment. This is our first experience of airbnb and the place is wonderful. Mario and his wife( who speaks no English) live downstairs and their son also lives on site and we had the upstairs apartment – 4 rooms- very adequate and a great change from high rise hotels. We had no sooner brought the bags in from the car when the rains came.
The rain was quite heavy and lasted about and hour and a half – time for us to have lunch and relax before heading into Assisi – 7 kms away. Once the rain cleared, the temperature dropped to 17 degrees – such a massive change in a short time frame. We headed down the road in the direction of Assisi and missed a turn which didn’t look possible and found ourselves being ushered into a car park. We were not sure where we were but purchased a map for €2 and got our bearings and realized that we were exactly in the right spot. Up many steps and we were right amongst the action along with heaps of other tourists. (Had we followed the directions of the GPS we would have found ourselves right in the narrow streets of Assisi – no where to park and it could have been very difficult.

About.com puts it this way:

Assisi is a superb hill town in the beautiful region of Umbria in Italy. To visitors, medieval "hill towns" are like storybook towns that time forgot; they did not develop into big cities over the centuries, but rather kept their narrow lanes, massive gates, stone buildings, and other features we find so charming.
But Assisi is much more than a pretty hill town. Thousands come to worship in Assisi's magnificent churches, and to pray to Francis of Assisi, a much-beloved saint.
St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), the patron saint of Italy, is affectionately called Il Poverello, the Little Poor One, because he lived and preached a life of simplicity and poverty. He did not, however, start life that way; in fact, the life of St. Francis of Assisi is "riches to rags" sort of tale.

We returned to our accommodation and opened up all the shutters. A very welcome change in temperature about 24°.

Night theatre in the Piazza - Macerata

View over the valley from Macerata

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