Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Farewell to Assisi

Our stay in Assisi and in the Umbrian region of Italy has been wonderful and relaxing.   We could see returning to this area sometime and renting a car and just touring the  agricultural settings.

Our hotel (Hotel Berti) was a perfect place to live and the staff and service were excellent.  We liked the fact that it was located away from the crowds around the San Francis Bascillica, but yet was only a 5 minute walk to see it.

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Here is a photo of this same area that was taken 100 years ago.  As you can  see, the hotel is built as part of the wall surrounding the city.   Our room would be the top window on the right….just a little bit of difference…..

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The view from our window was of the church of St. Pietra (St. Peter) and we awoke every morning hearing the bells ringing out…..a glorious way to start a day!!!

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We loved being able to walk up and down the hills and stairs, although our calves were sure tight the next morning!!!

We enjoyed watching all of the Franciscan Monks wearing robes ranging from  browns to blacks and also the Nuns in white, brown, grey or black habits.  They all had a rope tie around their waist.  It was interesting to see the things that accessorized their habits….most carried a backpack of some sort, many in bright, florescent colors, and most wore comfortable sandals as well. 

We realized that many people were there on a pilgrimage to see the tomb of St. Francis.  Before we left, we took one last walk up to the Bascillica and were able to watch a Mass in progress in the tomb area.  I enjoyed listening to the music which was led with a guitar.  They ended the service with “He Is Exalted”….in Italian……I sang along in English!!!!

This is the lower Bascillica…….

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We spent several minutes sitting in the pews and looking at the frescos covering the walls.  I noted that the halos looked as if they were 3 dimensional and as we walked up to them, we realized that they were indeed raised from the surface of the fresco.  I always think of a fresco as being pretty fragile and wonder if it is hard to create a sturdy, three dimensional image from the plaster.

I enjoyed watching the Nuns as they entered the chapel and would kneel at the first pew…..they all held tightly onto the pew and used it to help them get back up again….maybe bad knees are an occupational hazard!!!

I also enjoyed looking at some of the seats near one of the altars.  They bore designs done in wood inlays, with each showing a cabinet door, some slightly ajar. Inside were a variety of items, including a bird cage, books, musical instruments and sacred relics.  I loved to see how they were able to create such wonderful perspective just using various colors of wood!!

I also stood at one fresco and drew out two different quilt designs….I guess that it was a good thing that Michael had already walked back to the hotel at this point!!!  This is my rendition of it….think it would make a nice border…..

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I found these four chairs on the side of the street and loved the colors……

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2 comments:

Hulya Unsal Sakiroglu said...

You are so lucky Frances! It seems it is a wonderful country(Italy) to visit for a holiday...you must be enjoying the trip...

maggi said...

It must be so hard to leave such a beautiful place. The quilt pattern is great.

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