Monday, August 6, 2007

We loved Assisi

Assisi, the town of St. Francis, is a beautiful medieval town in the region of Umbria. It's built on a mountain, surrounded by walls and paved with narrow cobblestone streets. The stone used in construction of the town makes it look pink. To see the city, we climbed first to the basilica and its lower and upper levels. St. Francis tomb is in the lower level. Pottery, lace and sweet shops line the main street. Quaint narrow alleys and flights of steep stairs captivated us as we climbed. Midway to the top, we arrived at the town square with its fountain and Roman temple that's now a church. We kept climbing. At the very top sits a medieval castle.

Legend has it that St. Francis talked to a wolf that was killing people and got the wolf to leave. Today Assisi attracts religious groups of all kinds. Old buildings hold convents and monks wear brown robes tied with a three-knotted rope. One knot each for obedience, poverty and chastity.

Olive oil, white dry wine and Truffles preserved in oil are some of the agricultural products of Umbria.

The sound of horses' hooves echoing on the cobblestones pulled us away from breakfast to watch a horse race.

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