Thursday, June 2, 2011

May 27, 2011- Assisi- "While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart." - Saint Francis

We got up at 7 and showered and got ready for Assisi. The ride took about 45 minutes because of bus stops. Our first stop was the Basilica of Saint Maria degli Angeli. This Basilica is literally built around the tiny church-the Porziunede- looks like a doll house placed in the middle of the Basilica. Also within this church is the rose garden that Saint Francis through himself in to be forgiven for his sins. Legend has it that since that moment thorns no longer grow on the roses. This church is also where Francis died. The spot in which he died is gated off and an alter is built there. The coolest part of this church is a statue of Saint Francis holding a basket at the exit. Ever since it was built there has always been doves in the basket. Sure enough, when we passed by one dove was nested in the basket while the other one swooped down onto Francis’ shoulder.
Very hectically we caught the bus to upper Assisi. When we arrived, we went to the Basilica of Saint Francis that I went to with my class on Thursday. It was still fun and we went to places I didn’t go to the first time. We found the relic room in the basement of all Francis’ old clothing and items. We also stopped at the gift shop and got some charms. I want to get a silver charm bracelet for my trip to Italy.
By this time everyone is starving so they tell us we are going to lunch. What they didn’t tell us is that the restaurant is up 7 mountains. By the time we reached the restaurant everyone was hot, tired and hungry. I ordered lasagna because I wanted to try it the Italian way. As with all my food in Italy, it was very good. The mozerella was the best part. Ashley got a pasta dish with ham, asparagus and chees. The strange thing was, they had very small portions and for a group of people that had been traveling all day and were going to continue to travel, we were all still starving.
After lunch we visited where Saint Francis’ family lived when he was a boy and where he lived as an adult. We also saw his dad’s merchant shop in the main square in town. After that we visited one more church. The church of Saint Clare. This one was different compared to the others we saw. There weren’t any frescos, it was smaller and much more bare. But here the cross of San Domino is held. This is the cross that spoke to Francis and Jesus told him to “rebuild my church.”

We were given free reign of Assisi for an hour and a half. We could climb the mountain to see a castle, shop or relax. We decided to shop. The streets of Assisi are lined with souvenir shops. I got my brothers, my Granny and my Papa presents here. While I was in the one shop purchasing my grandfathers present, the little Italian lady started saying something to me in Italian and put a bracelet on my wrist. Jill, who speaks Spanish, said that the lady said something about a gift. I smiled, a little confused but happy and said “Gratzay, Ciao!”
On the way back to the school everyone got bus sick. Between the twisty roads, lack of food, hot sun and exhaustion, it was bad. Ashley, Jill and I decided to go get real food instead of our leftovers. We went out for kebobs…they were really good. I don’t know what kind of meat it was but I am not going to question it.
Exhausted we headed to bed. We are getting up at 5 tomorrow to head to Rome.

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