Sunday, November 13, 2011

November 12th

This past week I knew I wanted to do something like a day trip because I had nothing planned so far for this weekend. I started thinking about the places that I still wanted to visit and Assisi was at the top of my list. I ask Court if she wanted to go with me and she said yes! We were excited because this was the first trip we would be taking together that wasn't planned by the school, it was our own adventure.

We got up super early to get to the train station to buy our tickets so that part was not fun at all. We went to the station and with no problem purchased our tickets on the next train out to Assisi which was at 8:02. We waited in the station for about a half of an hour and the boarded the train and went on our way. Between homework and napping on the train, it was a pretty quick but boring ride.

When we got to Assis, the first thing we did was purchase our return tickets because we wanted to avoid any timing issues that could have popped up. Since the train station for Assisi is about a 3 mile walk to the actual city, we waited for the train and then took it up the huge hill to where the city is located. We decided that it would probably be wise to get a map of the city so that we would be able to know where we were and, even though it was small, we didn't want to get lost. The map I purchased had a little information packet in it so it was a good souvenir to get instead of a post card. At the shop, we asked the woman where her favorite place to get pizza was, and after a few times of her explaining where it was, we headed there and got some lunch.

I got a pizza with ham, olives, and artichokes. It was the best crust that I have ever had! It was the perfect mixture between crispy yet still doughy, salty and flavorful, thick and thin. Oh, so good. After pizza we decided that we would window shop and walk around the little town to see as much as we could. We headed up the hill, looking in all the shops along the way, to the Basilica of St. Francis.We stopped in a little had shop and C fell in love with one, but we decided that we should come back instead of purchasing it right away. The church was gorgeous and almost indescribable. We started our self guided tour in what is known as the lower basilica and looked at all of the paintings on the walls and everything. Italy has this problem of thinking they need to cover literally every surface in their churches with paintings, statues, and whatever else they can think of. This basilica was the exact opposite. It had the perfect amount of paintings, most about St. Francis, but everything was so beautiful. We walked down to where he is buried and it gave me the chills. It was so amazing to be there and see the different relics of his life. When we were finished with his tomb we made our way outside and went to the upper and main part of the church. While we were upstairs they were having communion so Court and I went in line and received the Eucharist. It is definitely cool to say that I have had communion at the Basilica of St. Francis, for some reason, it even seemed a little holier! Ok, that was obviously a joke, please give me at least a little giggle, Dad.

After the upper area of the church, we walked around the town for a little bit and then decided that we wanted some coffee so we stopped in a little shop and the woman was so nice. She let me use their bathroom before she knew we had any intention of buying anything and that is beyond rare in Italy. No on lets you use their bathroom for free and it is very frustrating. I understand why they have this policy, but coming from America "the land of public restrooms", it is very frustrating at times. On a side note, I have never seen a more gorgeous view out of a bathroom window. Assisi is surrounded by rolling hills and it is one of the most beautiful countrysides that I have ever seen. Everything was so green and vibrant that it is one of those times where the camera does not do it justice.

When we finished conversing with the woman, we decided to head back to that little shop and get the hat because we weren't sure what time it closed, better safe than sorry. Passing through the piazza located just before the basilica, there was a big performance by what looked like a bunch of people in their early twenties. We weren't sure what their performance was but they had swastikas on their arms and were dressed in clothes from that time period. They were performing a play and it looked pretty intense. We got the hat and then went back up to where the basilica is located and decided to go to the top of the city.

On the way we stopped in just about every shop until the point where they all started to look the same and then continued up the hill to another one of the main piazzas. A cute little side note, in Italy, they have a lot of three wheeled trucks that the locals use for transporting different goods. Well, in the piazza, there was a group of about five Italian men all standing around tipping the car on its side so that one of them could change the flat tire. It was so funny to watch then interact and talk with each other. We found a few more churches and walked in each of them. They were all so charming in their own way, whether it was how small they were or the amazing artwork they had, it was just so interesting walking in the churches and seeing it all. We got a little pastry that is called la rocciata which is a red strudel that has walnuts and apples in it, it was so tasty and sweet. The man at the bakery suggested this because he said that it was a pastry special to the area so we must try it.

After we ate our pastry and walked around more and realized that the temperature had dropped immensely and that we were both freezing. We briskly walked down all the hills we had climbed to go back to the bus station. We were hoping we would be able to catch an earlier train than the one we had planned on but we weren't sure. We waited around in the little shops near the bus station for the bus to come and got kicked out of one because he realized what we were doing and not planning on buying anything.

Luckily soon after the bus arrived and we went to the train station seeing that the next train was only in 30 minutes which was very nice. We both got a little snack to hold us over and then boarded the train. While we were sitting we were talking and not paying to too much attention to what was going on because we were so excited to get on the train. When the conductor came by to check our tickets he told us we were in the wrong class and Court realized she had lost her ticket. She left it on the console and she went to grab it and it wasn't there. We had a little freak out moment but it was all ok because we found it in her purse. We moved to second class and the ride was smooth from there. The second time he went through the cars to check tickets we moved to grab ours and he responded with, "don't worry, I remember you two". We couldn't stop laughing because it was so funny.

We made it home and made some spaghetti for dinner. I put onions and garlic into the sauce I made and it was so delicious, almost as good as the Moore family sauce. We had a long dinner just the two of us and it was so much fun. After dinner, we got ready and went out on a bar hop of Florence, I have never done this before and it was so much fun. Over all, it was a great day. I am so thankful that I went to Assisi and was able to see the town. It was so beautiful, quaint, and clean.

Con amore, Ciao!