Monday, July 31, 2017

Tuesday, June 27th, Day 5, ASSISI!

Today we visit Assisi! I had waited a very long time to see Assisi. Jim and I had a trip planned to Italy that was canceled because of 9/11. Assisi had been on the schedule, and even then, I had wanted to see it. So I was really pumped to finally be going. After breakfast, we headed toward the bus to make the hour long trip. Just before we arrived at Assisi, there was a beautiful view of the whole city sitting on its hill, and a wonderful sunflower field at the base of the field.

Assisi and the sunflower fields

Raniero is MUCH better at stopping for pictures that Jim is, and you would have thought we had never seen sunflowers! Truth is, we hadn't seen them like this before - thousands of bright yellow faces turned toward the sun. We clamored off the bus with our cell phone cameras and clicked and clicked, posing occasionally for someone to take our picture,


aren't we funny! Who knew we'd go so crazy snapping photos?

then we all lined up for a group photo - here we are, in Italy, standing in a front of a field of sunflowers, the city of Assisi behind us on the hilltop! Just imagine - what a photo op!

Come on Richard! Hurry, hurry!

Here we are - painters and poet in Italy!

Raniero parked the bus, and we took the elevator to the top of the hill and the top of the city. Richard had a little suprise place he wanted to take us, so we followed our leader through the small streets of that ancient town.

The map of Assisi at the elevator - go all the way up 
and walk back down to the buses...simple.

The large Bascilica at the top of the hill.

Through the streets of the city.

It wouldn't be Assisi without monks (and nuns) everywhere!

 Eventually we arrived at the Santa Maria della Rose, a small church dedicated to Mary. The church is small and unassuming - you would miss it if you didn't know it was there, and it's not in a lot of guide books, so I am greateful Richard included it in our visit that day. Inside is the wonderful "Maria" exhibition. If you'll follow the link below, you'll find a video story of the exhibit and a march for peace.

Christ, the Alpha and Omega

Richard bought each of us a small porcelain copy of the statute
 to use for our own meditaton practice. 
I can pick mine up and sit for a moment 
and remember myself back there, in Assisi, in Italy.

33 of the statues, cut from 33 different woods, 
representing different parts of the world: 
33, the number of years Jesus walked on earth.

The doorway into the simple little church.

After our time inside the church, so much to see, so little time! So, what did we decide to do? EAT of course! We were hungry, so a few of us decided to scout out a quick bite to eat, and it turned into a 2-hour lunch! We had a great time, and that's what Italy is about - communion! Bread and wine and friends!

I loved these closed up arches: I won't go that way again - ever.

Placemats at our little out-of-the-way restaurant.

Tucked into our own little out-of-the-way corner.

Wine...and important part of communion.

And bread...

And friends - and a warm afternoon in Italy...

Sarah and Nancy

Sarah, Sheila and Tonya


Jodi and Nancy
The 5 of us - a grace-filled moment in time.

After our wonderful lunch, we sat out toward the Bascilica, with only about 45 minutes left before we were supposed to meet at our pick up point. How to see Assisi in 45 minutes?

Sidetracked! The Temple of Minerva! 
We were a little disappointed to find that it was now dedicated to Mary. 
We love Mary, but Minerva was pretty cool too!

Sidetracked again - so many wonderful shops!

And sidetracked again - a stationary store full of notecards and journals,
 made especially for poets!

I'll take a picture of you, if you take a picture of me!

OK...just looking costs us calories!

A combination of heat and wine - and Sarah's stories!

SHOES! She really, really wants to buy shoes in Italy!

And that's where I left the group and headed out on my own. 
I'm going to be in a lot of trouble with a lot of people if I don't see the Church!

I wonder if I'm headed in the right direction? 
Perhaps it's through the arch!?

And there it is! I never got to the "upper church", 
but went into the lower Bascilica.

And while I was in there, I met up with my group again 
and we headed for this courtyard 
to meet up with Richard and the rest of the group.

I will always have fond memories of Assisi. If Italy's anything, it's wine and bread, food and friends, laughter and warm sunshine, and lots of stories.

On our way back to La Romita, we had another stop to make, but that is another blog post for another day.