Italy
Assisi

Here you’ll find travel reports about Assisi. Discover travel destinations in Italy of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

13 travelers at this place:

  • Day28

    Day 27/28. Assisi

    September 21, 2017 in Italy

    The daylight hours are shortening and consequently the temps. It was 9 degrees when we left to walk to Assisi. A comfortable walk of 4 hours. Whilst walking through the woods we heard a pack of dogs close bye and we spent some anxious moments wondering if they were wild. Not so as we came upon some parked cars. They were probably hunting for wild pigs.
    The ascent into the city was quite steep with cars racing past.
    At St Francis Basilica we were stopped by military personnel and and had to show our pilgrim passport otherwise they would have searched our bags.
    We obtained our testimony and invited to the evening mass for pilgrims.
    All day we kept bumping into our fellow travellers and at the mass too.
    We dined with Karl and Leslie (Americans) along with their French friend Pierre. So I got to practice my French. A very enjoyable night.
    Our first task on the second day was the laundry which involved a bus ride to Santa Maria d'Angelli at the bottom of the hill. That done we went sightseeing and had the good fortune to come across an exhibition by a pilgrim who had walked 13,000kms in 15 months. His photos brought back many happy memories for us.
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  • Day6

    I thought Assisi was Francis' surname. This is his home town, though is roman era old. It has both ornate and simple churches. It has outwardly religious people, bars, and bowmen. It seeks what Francis longed for, that all creation knows it lives under the deep and unstoppable grace of God.

    Parked in a dedicated motorhome site near Santa Maria degli Angeli, and ten minute bus ride up to Assisi. Walked from the basilica up to the top of the town, then back down again. Highlight was the next morning between at 8.15 til 9. We returned to the St Francis' basilica. Too early for Italy. Helen and I had the whole of St Francis basilica virtually to ourselves.
    Now on to Firenze, Florence.
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  • Day43

    Buon Natale from Assisi

    December 25, 2017 in Italy

    Merry Christmas !!!!

    Christmas in Assisi is just amazing!! In the spirit of the occasion, we had a Christmas tree made by Kai.

    A tiny bit of trivia: San Franceso started the first nativity scene in 1224 called here as a Presepe. There are lots of Presepes on display here, in homes, on sidewalks, on doors and life sized ones that fill up an entire living space or sprawled in gardens and courtyards.

    We did a Christmas hike up to Chiesa Eremo della Carceri where San Francesco had a hermitage. Didn't get to light a candle last night as there were too many people at the Basilica so we lit a candle at the hermitage instead for all family and friends in mind.

    Ascended 1500m, approximately 4 km in 2 hours and descended in 36 min. Ruby hiked to nearly 3000m and I am happy to report that her lungs were ok. We climbed a equivalent of 130 floors. Total of 7.59km.
    We arrived at the most tranquil and serene retreat.

    As we were back in Assisi, lo and behold we had monk carollers with Father Christmonks singing and dancing to Italian hymns and other carols.

    Finally the awesome foursome were all given a special present when we bought socks from a market in Siena. So we had to wear our present on Christmas day, hence the yellow socks.
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  • Day42

    MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM ASSISI

    December 24, 2017 in Italy

    Merry Christmas from Assisi, everyone. Whenever Italians hear we are spending Christmas in Assisi, their eyes glaze over, their tone changes as they exclaim and extol the beauty of Assisi. So it was with high expectations that I came to Assisi, and she has surpassed everyone of them.

    Assisi is my favorite place in Italy so far. It's the prettiest little medieval village perched atop a hill. It's like time has stood still in the streets and buildings. The stone buildings wind around little streets, alleyways and stairs. Pilgrims and tourists walk around with monks and nuns. In Assisi, one is either walking uphill or downhill, ascending stairs or descending stairs. Each turn reveals another jaw dropping sight. Assisi isn’t just home to UNESCO World Heritage sites, it IS a UNESCO World Heritage site. Apart from its physical beauty, and despite the festive mood of Christmas, there is an atmosphere and aura of sublime serenity. Even the Chinese tourists here seem quieter and less rambunctious. It's all just wonderful. And of course, it's only befitting that a place like this will only have churches with free entry.

    Grace and I attended Christmas Eve vespers sung by the cloistered Carmalite nuns from behind a screen on the side of the altar at Chiesa (church) Santa Chiara. All 4 of us will soon be attending the 11pm Christmas Eve Canto (chanting or sung) at the Basilica of St Francis which is just 400m from our apartment.

    BUON NATALE , MERRY CHRISTMAS from the Awesome Foursome. We wish you all the magic, wide smiles, generosity of heart, love and great cheer. Have a wonderful season, and we'll be lighting a candle for all of you in church tonight.
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  • Day44

    Umbria by Bike

    December 26, 2017 in Italy

    I am half reclined on the sofa in our apartment groaning from the biggest food coma, gastronomic overload, ever. It's 6.47pm now, and no, we did not have an early dinner. The food coma is from lunch and breakfast, with a 3 hour 25km bike ride between both feasts.

    This morning started with an early 8am pick up by Francesco, of "Umbria by Bike", for a bike tour. All I understood was that it would include a breakfast and lunch cooked by his mum. Francesco took us to his apartment at the bottom of the hill from Assisi where his mum and dad were waiting for us with breakfast. Within 5 minutes of stepping into the apartment, we felt part of the family as we all sat for breakfast. The breakfast included various breads including traditional Umbrian bread (torta al testo), cold meats, various homemade jams, various biscuits, and typical Umbrian pastry called rocciata, filled with fresh fruit and raisins. We had no idea how we were expected to cycle after all we ate, and then mama and papa plied us with even more. I felt like a bear ready for hibernation through a 4 month winter, as Francesco fitted us with helmets and adjusted bicycles to fit. I must say that the bicycles we had were super comfortable, top of the range sort, so I was motivated to try out my fancy bike. We weaved for a short while through the little town before we got rural. The setting was everything like one sees in pictures, photos and movies. The road was flat, the bike was comfortable, the scenery was amazing, so it was easy to just place one foot after another down and pedal. We stopped to feed the donkey and a sheep, and I took photos. Francesco stopped periodically to explain rural life, and I took photos.

    We returned the bicycles to the apartment, and Francesco drove us to lunch at the farm situated on the slopes of Monte Subasio, where Assisi is located, and where we trekked up yesterday. He was going to show us the olive farm after lunch.

    Mama and papa were again waiting, and mama shooed us upstairs for lunch as soon as we arrived. "Eat first, look around later" was a priority I understood, except that I was still full from breakfast, despite the bike ride. Lunch was not just a feast. It was an epic. The open fireplace right in the dining room was such a bonus. Lunch was over 6 courses. There were 2 courses of pasta and 2 courses of meat. Everything was homemade, from pastas to sauces to pate to olive oil and wine; everything was grown on their farm, even the chicken, except the veal. We felt embraced by the warmth, hospitality and love that flowed so easily from the family. It was an incredible experience that touched each one of us.

    After lunch, we had to hurry down to the farm which included 600 olive trees before it got dark. We saw the chickens (sorry I ate your friend, but she was so yummy), goats, and even a enormous pig that was only 12 months old. We had a tutorial about wine and olive oil making. Everything is just simply pressed, barrelled, then stored. So simple, so healthy, so traditional, so lovely, and I can attest, so very very yummy. Francesco has a full time job. The bike tours and farm is just what he does on his days off. They are an amazingly hard working family.

    We came away with jams and fresh bread, eggs that were still warm, and persimmons that we will eat tomorrow. What will stay with us will be the experience of open hearted warmth and hospitality from an incredible family.
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  • Day346

    Day 347: Assisi

    January 27 in Italy

    Time to head in and explore Assisi. Although the place we'd booked suggested it was walking distance to town, the "20 minutes to the walls" looked a bit optimistic on Google Maps, and besides - the basilica we wanted to see was at the far end so even further away. In the end we just drove.

    Parked underground in an enormous parking lot (Assisi is heavily visited by pilgrims and is well set up to cater for them), then walked up to where the basilica is. Assisi is famous as the home of St Francis, founder of the Franciscan order of monks, patron saint of Italy and one of the most important saints in Christianity.

    The basilica here is actually two basilicas, one directly on top of the other which is quite unusual! We bought our tickets and headed first into the lower basilica, which had a fairly low roof and was very quiet and sombre. Descended into the crypt to see where St Francis's remains are buried - interestingly, he died in 1226 and was buried here shortly afterwards, but when the city was threatened by a Saracen army his tomb was hidden and only rediscovered in the 19th century.

    Lots of impressive artwork in the lower basilica, a nice courtyard outside and then a climb into the upper basilica. This was much taller and lighter with more windows, and brighter paintings too. Also quite interesting, and a bit more enjoyable since it wasn't as full of groups as downstairs. Unfortunately you can't take photos inside either basilica, so it's going to be a fairly ordinary video.

    Done with the basilicas, we wandered through the old town which was actually quite nice - very well maintained and looked after, unlike many places in Italy. They obviously get a lot of pilgrims here, so it's probably one of the wealthiest spots in the country.

    Headed down the hill onto the plains below, to check out an unusual spot - a church within a church. A large basilica in a square from the 17th century contains the original little hut where St Francis began his preaching amongst other things. Not quite sure how they built around it, or whether it was moved etc, but still quite interesting to see. It also has the chapel of the Transit, where Francis eventually died.

    Again, no photos, so difficult to really give an idea of the place! But it's interesting - it actually feels much more like a spiritual place than a tourist destination. And it feels quite connected to St Francis as well, since although he died 800 years ago, it feels comparatively recent in a weird way.

    We also checked out a monastery on the outskirts of town that had a connection to St Francis as well. Maybe one of the monasteries he set up for Franciscans? I can't quite remember. Anyway it was clearly off the tourist route and very quiet - only us and a couple of others there.

    Done for the day, we headed home and chilled out for the rest of the afternoon/evening.
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  • Day9

    Assisi

    September 11, 2017 in Italy

    We did not take many pictures here. We spent most of our free time looking for the church that has the cross from which Christ spoke to Francis. I lived here for a year 35 years ago and I wanted to share this church with Mary. Of course it was not the church that has such salient memories for me but rather the experience of Vesper services held there each evening. It was standing room only with easily 300 people attending every evening. The service consisted of singing and while I never knew the words, the melody was pleasing and I could hum along. I remember feeling waves of loving emotion that brought me to tears with each occurrence. It would subside then build again. It was the only time I felt close to Christianity as a living faith.

    I chose Assisi so that I could participate with a group from Ananda -- followers of Swami Yogananda -- who had an ashram there. I felt then as now that this place has loving energy flowing through it. I also understand that Swami Vivekanada visited Assisi but can't find any quotes that expressed his impressions. Maybe some of my Vedanta friends can contribute them in the comments section.

    Though we never found the church I was able to identify the house I lived in back then. It is on a hill overlooking the back side of the Basilica. It is actually visible in one of the pictures I've attached to this posting though just a speck the distance.
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  • Day9

    The hermitage of St. Francis

    September 11, 2017 in Italy

    Cloudy but not much rain. We've learned that parts of Italy had flooding, loss of power and loss of life -- seen from that perspective, our yesterday experience was not really that bad. We found out that this was the first time in ten years that rain forced the cancellation of the walking part of a tour. I can verify that the footing can be treacherous and slippery on the paths so I'm glad they were being careful. We did tour St. Francis Hermitage, got a very good guided tour of the Basilica, and spent time walking around the city.

    Since I am limited to 6 photos in each post I will focus on the Hermitage in this one and add a second one for Assisi.

    Francis had the option to become a wealthy silk merchant through inheritance. Initially it looked like this would be his path. He led a high-spirited life and fought as a soldier for Assisi against the neighboring power of Perugia. But beginning in 1204 he had a series of visions that directed him to "Save the church". At first he thought the task was physical and began working on a small chapel in the valley. Latter he realized his task was more universal. Embracing poverty he and his small band of followers selected this site to contemplate in peace and serenity.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Assisi, أسيزي, Горад Асізі, Асизи, Assís, Ασίζη, Asizo, Asís, Asis, آسیزی, Assise, אסיזי, アッシジ, Ассизи, 아시시, Asisium, Asyžius, Asīze, Asyż, Assis, அசிசி, อัสซีซี, Lungsod ng Assisi, Ассізі, Sisa, 阿西西

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