This post is being written approximately five days after my arrival in Italy. My apologies, I was without internet. After spending almost 24 hours traveling, our group arrived in Assisi. We stayed in La Casa Franchi, a hotel located in la cittadella. This week was packed with tours, lots of hills (okay, lets be honest, they were mountains), meeting others from my group, and gelato. This also marks the beginning of the “during” portion of my blog.
After a well needed nights rest we trekked up the mountain to the highest point of Assisi. This is the site of La Rocca Magiore, a feudal castle. Building a castle at the highest peak served as a mean of protection; arrows are much more effective when they are shot downward rather than upward. Gravity does its job!
On Friday, the group split and my
section toured through Santa Chiara (a church dedicated to Saint Clare of Assisi) and San Domiano. San Domiano is the church that Saint Francis rebuilt after a vision told him to “rebuild the church.” Later he realized that it was not meant literally, but rather he was to spread the word of God. Also, located in this church is the room in which Saint Clare of Assisi died. On the way down there were beautiful groves of olive trees. Everything in Assisi was so beautiful.
On Saturday, my section toured the Basilica of Saint Francis. This was fascinating. You can feel God’s presence in this place. Religion seems just so much more alive here.
The impact of Saint Francis is evident by the numbers of people that come to pray in this church. One particular aspect that I found interesting was the artwork. There were 28 frescoes in the Upper-Church, and as you walk down the line of them you could understand the story of Saint Francis. Bellissima!
Saturday afternoon we had free-time to explore the city ourselves. Several of us discovered a self-tour of the original main piazza. This was underground since the original piazza is under the new piazza. We also got to see two different
street bands perform.
Assisi is alive with religion and culture. It provided me with new reasons to believe in God, and a whole new outlook on life.
P.S. I ate gelato twice a day. I must cut back in Rome or I will come home weighing 600 pounds.
- Saint Francis of Assisi – Feast of the Stigmata (kiwianglo.wordpress.com)
- Why is St Clare the Patron Saint of Television? (Seriously, she had a flatscreen back in the 1200s!) (cantuar.blogspot.com)
- Happy feast of St. Clare of Assisi day (zulkey.com)