Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Regine was in Assisi recently and I decided to join her. It is a 2 hour train ride South, and is in the Umbria region, very close to Tuscany. The train ride through the Tuscan country side was magnificent, even though I left at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. It was stunning enough to keep me awake.

Assisi is most famous for being the burial place of St. Francis (St. Francis of Assisi). The basilica, Basilica di San Francesco, was begun in 1228, two year’s after the saint’s death. There is an upper and lower church and over the next century, they were decorated by some of the foremost artists of the day. Among them, Cimabue, Simone Martini, Pietro Lorenzetti, and Giotto. Giotto’s frescoes on the Life of St. Francis are some of the most renowned in Italy. The basilica, dominates Assisi on top of the hill, and is one of the great Christian shrines and receives vast numbers of pilgrims throughout the year.

Can you even begin to imagine something being around for 800 years? In September of 1997, the town suffered serious damage during an earthquake, but it was quickly restored. I noticed nothing of the damage, and the views are spectacular.

Regine and I managed to have our usual fabulous time. Regine met Raffaele, a painter in Assisi, whom we had heard of from one of our classmates, who visited Assisi a few months ago. We found a wine bar, and walked up and down the steep hills.

I left at 6 a.m. on the train back to Florence. Regine has another 2 weeks on the road with her camper and then back to Berlin. I hope to see her their next!

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