One of the oldest cities in the world.
2nd Century Roman Amphitheater
Bachkovo Monastery. Spectacular frescoes inside baptistry.
Plovdiv – by night
The beautiful village of Kovachevitsa deep in the mountains.
Beautiful, friendly Sofia including the wonderful old St Georges Church.
Vestiges of communism.
Magnificent St Sofia Basilica
First stop was San Damiano an important site for St Francis . The church was built between8- 9century and st Francis predicted it would be the dwelling place of Clare who followed his ways and her followers who were called the Poor Clares. It was a simple and peaceful site and the cloisters lovely with many potted cyclamen. There was a bronze sculpture of st Francis looking out over the plain.
Spoleto- it took about 40 minutes there. The fun started when we tried to find the parcheggio we thought would be closer to the castle where we wanted to go. Works my with google we ended up in a couple of Tights streets. We did find a parking no area but had no idea whether we were close and the role we spoke to had no English at all.
But we persevered and eventually caught sight of Information sign near town. Again it was impressive as there were lifts up to the piazza libertarian. We headed up to the castle and again took lifts to the top. The castle was great with beautiful views over the town. The large castle was a museum with restored frescoes and part thereof. It showed how they would have lived – there was an aqueduct behind .
Heading down from the castle we had a crostini and panini lunch with water and wine looking down on the beautiful cathedral which had a huge square space in front of it. The whole town was pretty empty of tourists which was great.
Half way back down we came across the amazing underground moving footway which takes you up and down through the town.
Last stop was the Roman theatre which was very well preserved really – the museum had some very old archaeological remains such as pots and jewellery..
Headed back to Assisi and drive to Erwin Della Carceri which was a place of sanctuary for St Francis – it is in a bush setting above and behind Assisi. Just a brief stop as we wanted to practice getting into Assisi as we wanted to be able drive in to get our luggage. Success!
Dinner was excellent in a beautiful setting – on a terrace overlooked big the plain . It was mild with no wind and very pretty with the glittering lights below. Menu – wild boar stew for Peter and pasta with artichokes and lamb for me. We shared a chocolate and almond dessert. On leaving ended up chatting to the single American woman who was on the table next to us / Californian in Italy doing a language course.
Another beautiful day of sunny weather- we planned ahead where to go and we had an easy 40 minute drive to Perugia- found the the car park at the foot of the hill where the historic center of the city is. From the car park we caught the driverless mini metro up the hill to historic center . There are seven stops and it takes 20 minutes. They continually cycle around and there is no waiting. The locals use it too. A very impressive and efficient system. At the top there are a series of escalators that take you further.
It is a stylish city and quite compact with a main walkway to the key sites
The main piazza – Piazza del Priori where there is a substantial medieval fountain -Fontana Maggiore – with the signs of the zodiac. The duomo is impressive as they all are – this time with more stained glass.
The Etruscan arch was with a visit, towering over us with 2 trapezoidal towers and Augustan inscription over the entrance.
We walked back to the other end for some views down and then had a typical lunch of salad and brushetta fighting the pesky pigeons!!
Headed off a bit after 2pm to Bevagna one of the local recommended towns. It was very sleepy ! Walked around / things were chiuso but had a nice cup of tea. Don’t think we made it to the main town centre.
We went back to Assisi to try to practice getting into the town. Again Google took us the same way so we left it and headed back.
Dinner was at Il vicilo- nice presentation and they tried but food was very average despite it being 2 on Trip advisor.