Assisi Day 2

 

We walked up the hill to the Roca Maggiore and the castle which commands 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside- dating from 1200s. Quite an impressive castle to explore with some rooms with models of of people appropriately dressed from the period and weaponry. Some excellent large photos of reenactments of the past. We climbed the many spiral stairs to the to for panoramic views.

Walked down gorgeous via sante Croce to the Basilica of San Francis. The streets are beautiful, clean, flowering pots on the windows – totally picture postcard
The Basilica is huge and commanding site- there is a lower level with 2 wings of chapels and then you descend into the tomb of St Francis. Again mAny tourists- a lot wanted to touch the tomb of st Francis- there are lots of religious tourists. Then there is the superior Basilica above with frescoes of st Francis’ life by Giotto. Army presence there as was the case at the piazza del Campo in Siena.
Strolled to main square for lunchat oneof the many places. Place is very busy.
Visited The Cathedral is large and simpler than the other in Romanesque style. Then onto the archaeological museum which gave a good insight into what the area would have been like in Roman times- i.e. The temple of Minerva . Walked over old Roman pavement and saw headstones and inscriptions – interesting.
Huge antipasto platter with all sorts of things on it followed by siciliana pizza – anchovies and black olives

Assisi Day 1

Managed to get back to the car and leave Siena easily. Trip to Assisi on main road was easy too as there wasn’t much traffic.
More fun when we tried to get into our accommodation. This time using google map we were taking into the old town – very narrow in parts. In La Casina Colorata we have a spacious family  sized room and lovely sitting area and breakfast room.
Assisi is just gorgeous – pretty on top of a hill. Fabulous 3rd century and the Temple of Minerva which became a Christian church in the 1300.
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Assisi is synonymous with St Francis- it has a huge religious significance for many and it is obviously a place of pilgrimage. There are 100s of tourists and many tour groups. All the many tourist shops are selling mainly religious items of all sorts.
The people on the tour group are mostly religious we think wearing crosses- many Americans, Germans and a big group of Indians . There are quite a few monks and nuns around and of different nationalities.
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Church of San Chiara- very interesting – compose of 2 main chapels and the crypt of San Chiara and the reliquaries of St Francis and others. The tourists were religious and clearly in silence meditation.
St Francis reliquaries included his simple robe. Also stories of st Clare who was a noblewoman who followed st Francis much to the opposition of her family
Saint Francis of Assisi was a Catholic friar who gave up a life of wealth to live a life of poverty. He established the Franciscan Order of friars and the women’s Order of the Poor Ladies. Francis was born in Assisi, Italy in 1182. He grew up leading a privileged life as the son of a wealthy cloth merchant.
The Italian mystic St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) founded the religious order known as the Franciscans. He became renowned for his love, simplicity, and practice of poverty.
Francis’ devotion to God was expressed through his love for all of God’s creation. St. Francis cared for the poor and sick, he preached sermons to animals, and praised all creatures as brothers and sisters under God. St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and ecology, was born in Italy around 1181 or 1182.
1224, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, as a result of which he received the stigmata. Brother Leo, who had been with Francis at the time, left a clear and simple account of the event, the first definite account of the phenomenon of stigmata. “Suddenly he saw a vision of a seraph, a six-winged angel on a cross. This angel gave him the gift of the five wounds of Christ.”[36] Suffering from these stigmata and from trachoma, Francis received care in several cities (Siena, Cortona, Nocera)