Friday, October 17, 2014

Italy Part 5 (Assisi and Perugia)

Italy Day Three:

Needless to say, I was not ready to leave Rome. There was so much I still wanted to see and so much more pizza to eat!!! Alas, we had to be on the bus at 8 am (having to be awake by 7 on vacation was not fun) and before I knew it, Rome was fading into the distance.

Our first stop was the town of Assisi.  You probably recognize the name because of the patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi

The town was the most beautiful and picturesque place - straight out of a fairy tale, if you ask me. A sweet little village on a hill with an abandoned fortress above it.




Most of the inhabitants have moved down the hill to a lower town after two devastating earthquakes in 1997. They now drive up the hill to work everyday and the town relies heavily on tourism.

There were beautiful walkways and a fountain in the middle of the square.  We had an hour of "free time" before our guided tour so Houston and I walked around exploring the darling town.



I wanted to take a photo at the top of a big staircase and on my way to the top I was stopped in my tracks by the most delicious smelling food.  A kitchen window was open and I told Houston he had to come smell what I was smelling.


We decided to have lunch in the restaurant and it was amazing! We sat on a beautiful balcony above the fountain and even watched a wedding. We had the whole balcony all to ourselves for most of lunch and enjoyed sitting and soaking it all in.




Lunch was wild boar pasta and a truffle cream pasta - both local specialties and they were delicious.

Our guided tour took us through the church of St. Francis, which survived the horrible earthquakes in 1997. Our guide said that immediately following the earthquakes, the roof was completely destroyed and the sky was what you saw when you looked up. See the video below at 1:00 ( a film crew just happened to be filming in the church at the time of the quake).



(No photos allowed in the church, but it was beautiful!) The church was actually two levels, which you would never know from looking at it, and I was blown away by the beautiful stained glass windows in the lower level church. Speaking of stained glass windows, see the beautiful one in the photo of Houston below? Apparently it was completely unharmed in the earthquake. Not a scratch.




City:  Assisi
Date:  9/27/14
Hotel: N/A
Weather: Warm
Restaurants (Lunch):  Taverna dei Consoli  
The Good:  Our view from the restaurant and the food! Being able to be leisurely walking through town looking at chalk artists and hearing a guitar in the background.   
The Bad:  N/A  
Wish I had:  More time to visit the fortress that overlooks the city - Rocca Maggiore.

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After our tour we logged some more time on the tour bus (so much driving!) and arrived in Perugia in the late afternoon. Perugia is the town where Amanda Knox was attending school when she was charged with the murder of Meredith Kercher. Pretty sure Perugia would like that tainted tourist note to disappear.

We had some time to explore town before dinner and I was fascinated by the escalators that took us from the hotel to the center of town - they literally carried us through the remains of the Rocca Paolina, a 16th-century fortress. It was like being in the dungeon of an ancient castle!

We spent some time in town while Houston tried to get internet access for us with an Italian phone chip (it was a nightmare for him) and I ate the most delicious lemon gelato.



A quick dinner at the hotel and before we knew it the sun was coming up over Perugia and it was time to leave! Houston took this sunrise photo from the hotel and I was sad that we only stayed one night.


City:  Perugia
Date:  9/27/14 - 9/28/14
Hotel:  Sangallo Palace Hotel 
Weather: Warm with a nice breeze.
Restaurants (Dinner):  The hotel restaurant.   
The Good: The Rocca Paolina, seriously, I was obsessed. The view from the hotel was incredible. 
The Bad:  Hanging out at the TIM  store (trying to get the internet) where no one could figure out how to get service for the card in Houston's phone.   
Wish I had: Another lemon gelato (yum). Taken more photos in town, Perugia was neglected by my camera.   


4 comments:

  1. Wow! I love how gorgeous Assisi is and it's incredible that the stained glass window had no damage from and EARTHQUAKE!

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  2. Gorgeous! Love that you had that balcony to yourselves!

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  3. Me too! -- It was quite romantic.

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  4. Sarah - I couldn't believe it. And there are dozens of stained glass windows on the lower level that were all ok too. A miracle!

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