Onward to Assisi we go! We took a Regional train to Assisi and enjoyed the variety of the terrain as we sped along a track unknown to us. We marveled at the beauty each region of Italy holds. I had visions of Under the Tuscan Sun in my head and was not disappointed as we rode through that area. The countryside was covered like a patchwork quilt with olive groves and vineyards. We were not unlike school children staring out the window on a field trip to some new destination. It’s hard to imagine a train ride as being thrilling, but this one certainly was for us.
We took a cab from the train station up into the hills of Assisi. This being our first taxi ride of the trip we quickly became aware of the shall I say, skill and expertise it takes to be a taxi driver in this country! Our driver sped through those streets like he’d been doing this since he was 2, narrowly missing people, cars and buildings! What an amazing first impression we had taking in all of the narrow streets lined with people browsing the shop windows, or just enjoying the storybook atmosphere this ancient town possesses. Our hotel was right in the heart of this beloved town located in a beautiful 600 year old building. Yes, Jana, I remembered your advice and touched these magnificent ancient stones whenever I could. Our room was very tiny by American standards , but seemed to be the norm for over there. I mean it was so tiny Marie could reach out from her bed and shut the bathroom light off without having to budge out of that bed! Lying there listening to the beautiful church bells chime every hour made the size of the room feel pretty insignificant. It was so worth it to be staying right in the heart of all of our destinations!
We explored all of Assisi we could possibly muster up the strength to as it is ALL HILLS...and what you go down you must eventually go back up again. Our visit to St. Francis Basilica was the highlight of this town for us. Besides always having a love of St. Francis, I had such a strong desire to see this church ever since watching the video of the guys singing there for that Christmas Special several years ago. It was extraordinary. No cameras or speaking allowed, just pure reverence prevails in that holy structure. No pictures I could have taken would ever have done it justice.
We bid Assisi a reluctant farewell and hired a very nice taxi driver named, Marcello, to drive us on to Perugia where we would pick up our first rental car of the trip. More adventures ahead as we are on our way to Montepagano!