Saturday, November 27, 2010
Wired from cappuccino and pastry in bars in Arezzo and Terentola, I finally arrive in Assisi three and a half hours after leaving Firenze. I took the local trains. But I got to see wicked storm clouds brewing over snow capped mountains and rivers leaping beyond their banks in Cortona, a beautiful lake that I think is Lake Trasimero, and experience lots of Italian high school kids from Perugia to Assisi where it is blessedly not raining.
For me, Assisi is a slice of heaven on earth. Peace palpitates through my heart as I walk the artistically paved streets and climb precisely laid steps through Assisi’s narrow corridors.
The artisanship of the stonework buildings speaks to me in a visceral way that I find only in the works of Michaelangelo’s renaissance art.
Beauty speaks every time I peek through a crevice or peer over a wall.
I gesture with my camera in a couple's face between their kisses and request they take my photo on St. Clare’s piazza. It's what you have to do to get their attention. And they seem happy to accommodate. Well, let's make that 'willing' to accommodate.
If you climb the stairs right up the street from San Francesco, you will be greeted with this cozy spot
and be able to eat the best cheese I’ve tasted in Italy (and that’s a high compliment) and feast on gnocchetti delle paesano, the best food I’ve had in Italy (and that’s more than a high compliment) and drink Umbrian wine at Al Camino Vecchio, like I did. And it’s okay to enjoy every morsel because you’re going to be climbing more stairs and more hills.
And as you ascend, you get to see the most amazing light display spotlighting specific beauty within the Umbrian mountainsides, the plains, and Rocco Maggiore.
So I walk and I wander and I feel love all around me.
and then Francis and Clare welcome me.
I may need to come back to the Umbrian region another time to explore. Although the weather is very cold, Umbria feels warm and welcoming. Like a remembered home with lots of pleasant memories.