Monday, August 30, 2010

All the way up!!!!

This morning we slept very late (for us) and didnít wake up until 8:00am...I woke up with the local bells ringing, however Michael said that they rang at 7:00am as well, but I slept thru that time.

We had laughed about the size of the bathroom, but really had a laugh with the size of the towels.  They are not made of terry, but of a dense linen and are huge....almost bigger than the bathroom itself.....


 We had a nice breakfast on the patio of our hotel and then headed out for our day.  The plan was to walk to the furthest (and highest) point and then work our way back down to our hotel.  As usual, we encountered some beautiful morning views as we walked.  I am particularly enamored with the unusual skylines....




Our destination was the Roman Coliseum and we were expecting to see a stadium with seating etc.  Instead we found an oval wall filled with houses of every shape and size (apparently these were built in the 1300ís).  We found an old laundry area and then enjoyed walking along the wall. 

Note the wall in this photo marking the edge of the coliseum......



We walked up another little track that Michael found and took some photos, this time seeing a fortress that looked interesting. 


We pulled out the map and figured out that it was called "Roca Maggiore"and was within walking distance so we hiked UP, UP, UP to the top of the hill.   Then we climbed a TINY circular stairway up to the top of the fortress.




The views from the top were beautiful........




The funny thing was that we looked back the other way and saw yet another fortress that looked interesting.  We then noticed that the track that we had already climbed (but not to the top), was the entrance to it.  We decided that it did not look THAT great!!

We saw this fence as we were coming down the path from the fortress and both thought that it was made of small shells. 

Upon closer inspection we realized that it is made of discarded chewing gum!!!!

We continued back thru the city and were walking past the cathedral at San Rufino when we heard a great shout and lots of people clapping.  We went a few more steps and found that there was a wedding going on and they had just welcomed the new couple after the ceremony.  We watched as one little boy carried a basket around and people put things into the basket.....presumably monetary gifts.

We continued on thru the city, ending up at the Basilica of St. Francis. 

There were large crowds of people, but the church did not seem too crowded inside.   Many of these churches just look the same, but this one is beautiful because of the colors on the walls and ceilings.  There are frescos on all of the walls depicting scenes from St. Francisí life.  The ceiling was painted with more scenes, as well as sky area with stars.

As a quilter, this church was a dream..there were quilt patterns and designs EVERYWHERE!!!!  Unfortunately, you couldn't take photos, but I did enjoy soaking up the setting.

After walking out of the main level, we walked down some stairs and into the lower Basilica where the remains of St. Francis are kept.  There were people standing all around the altar of the crypt, many touching it and praying.  There were places where people had put photos of loved ones up as they prayed and I watched one woman searching thru her billfold to find a particular photo.  There was a Monk who was selling blessings too.


As we were leaving the church we saw a newly married couple taking photos at the church and then another one in the courtyard.  Obviously this is THE place for wedding photos......

We walked back to a wood-working shop and bought a couple of items, including an olive wood mortar and pestle.  We found a small cafe and had a couple of Paninis for lunch.  I ended the lunch with a wonderful chocolate coated Cannoli. 

We returned to the hotel and spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on the patio and reading and people watching....a great day!!!!!

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