See Assisi

Our nephew recently visited Assisi and sings its praises. That's pretty much all it takes for us to put a new destination on our agenda, as long as it's driving distance. And Assisi is just under two hours away. Kelly joined us, which is always fun.

St. Francis' birthplace, Assisi has a big church where the Saint is buried. St. Francis is my favorite saint, or maybe tied for first with St. Anthony. I think they are the only two I really know. St. Anthony finds lost things (almost always!) and St. Francis loved animals, and/or birds. I have a little statue of him in my garden.  NOT ONE St. Francis statuary in the gift shops of Assisi! Maybe we Americans have commercialized the guy, but seriously, the Italians don't exact shy away from capitalizing on their culture. I'll have to look into this.

Assisi is a beautiful and pristine little town. The stone here is much lighter (or maybe just cleaner?) than that in Viterbo, so it makes for an almost blindingly white look. We did a ton of walking because there's a fortress with a tower that's worth climbing. To get to it you have to go up a bunch of spiral staircases and then down a long tunnel. Perfectly straight and very narrow. When Kelly was up ahead her voice was muffled as if she were talking into a towel. It was a bizarre sensation. Signs said not to do this if you suffer from vertigo or claustrophobia. The view was fine. I'm not into views. Never have been.

The Papal Basilica of StFrancis of Assisi

Can you spot the legs?

The four-legged but three-footed kitty.

It's wedding season in wedding country, so if it's Saturday in July, it's wedding day. I can never resist being a paparazzi and they seem to preen for us all.

Another bride & groom!

As is our custom, we let Fred (and Kelly today) take off for a couple of hours and make a picture, while the boys and I camp out at a café and read, write and play on our phones. I also take off with my camera and explore a little, more so now that I have no worries about leaving them alone.

When Kelly and Fred came back, we did what we always do on our way home from a day trip: stop for a visit in a new town on the way back, find a bar and have a drink in the Centro (historic town center), then make another stop at a town closer to home for dinner. This time it was a drink in Spello, a town we had never heard of. Charming and quiet. Bello Spello I call it :)

And dinner was in Narni, one of our favorites spots to eat. Only in Italy on the edge of a hill town would I find it acceptable to be the only diners at a restaurant. At home it's sort of a warning sign, but here it just means you're the guest tonight. I keep all the restaurant phone numbers in my phone so we're able to make a reservation (not that it's needed!) so these ladies were expecting us. There's no menu. One of the women throws out a few ideas and her partner cooks it up!  We all had pasta—some of us a cingiale (wild boar) dish, and others a sausage, gnocchi and bean dish. All delicious, of course. Dessert was over the top.

Beware of old men on bikes.

Forty minutes later (now midnight!) we arrived back in Viterbo having marked yet another town on our Italy map as having seen. See Assisi for yourself!