Today we went to the real La Verna (not the café on our campus) and then to Cortona. We left a little after 9. La Verna was so beautiful. We drove up twisty roads in to the woods. Everything was so green.
Rocks rose over the sides of the path and were hugged by bright moss. It was so peaceful.
We then came to a stone tunnel which we had to be quiet beyond because this is a very religious place and many come here for prayer. We came to a hallway with frescos depicting the life of Saint Francis.
There were ones of him embracing a leper, shedding his worldly possessions, his first time at La Verna, receiving the stigmata and his death.
We then waited in front of a door to see where Francis slept. I don’t know what I was expecting when I opened the door but it wasn’t a beautiful forest. We entered into a mossy crevice and could look up over the rocks and see the blue sky.
We then bent ourselves in half and into a cave where he slept. It was tiny but cozy. It had a small dirt indent where he would rest.
We then made our way to where Saint Francis received the stigmata. They built a chapel around where he received the stigmata and marked the actual spot with a beautiful candle arrangement.
I sat and prayed for a while and thanked God for this wonderful trip.
We then went to a tiny chapel of Saint Anthony. After that we went out to see a beautiful view of Italy and walked up a very steep staircase. There was also the spot where the devil dared Francis to jump from the cliff and see if God would save him. Francis backed against the stone wall and it gave way to save him.
We then went to see the real church of Santa Maria (there are replicas in both Assisi and Olean). They were very small and comfortable.
Before leaving we stopped at the gift shop and I got myself a rosary.
We then took a short bus ride to where we had lunch. Our one professor sat with us and it was a lot of fun. For lunch we had pasta with meat for the first course. Second course was French fries, salad and pork….strange but yummy.
We then got back on the bus for an hour and a half trip to Cortona where the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” was filmed.
There we shopped for a bit and then our professor bought us all gelato. I got peanut butter because I have been craving it. They don’t have peanut butter in Italy!!
When we got back to Perugia there was a world market going on. Countries from all over had stand and booths selling different things. It was so cool. I got myself a handmade wire copper ring from the Slovakia booth. It is my favorite thing I have gotten so far and it was only 5 euro. Ashley got meat from Germany. Then we headed back to the room to chill for the night.