Something light again. Herein a few photos and a story as an excuse for taking them.
My sister-in-law went to Assisi a few months ago and highly recommended it. We were staying four nights in Cortona, just a short trian ride away. It was an obvious day trip in the making.
A little background: I understand that Assisi is associated with the famous Saint Francis of Assisi, for whom the Franciscan order is named and also the American city of San Francisco. Now I learn that the bones of Saint Francis are entombed beneath the church here. It’s likely that without Saint Francis Assisi would be just another hilltop town in Italy.
Train travel in Italy we have found to be always interesting and sometimes problematic. It’s as Forrest Gump mentioned, you never know what you’re going to get.
The day we arrived in Cortona we purchased two round-trip bus tickets at the tobacco shop on the square. For some reason Italy wants you to purchase tickets at tobacco shops and news stands. So Thursday morning we took bus tickets and train pass in hand and walked down to the bus stop. Then off to the train.
Waiting for the train is a nice way to waste a few minutes. I like trains, and I take a lot of pictures of trains. I have sold many photos of people getting on and off trains. Also, I find train travel relaxing. Less crowded than buses and enormously less crowded than planes. And the trains have rest rooms. It was a nice ride to Assisi
There are a number of ways you can tell when you get to Assisi. This is one of them
Again, the train does not stop directly in the town (up on a hill, you know). So we obtained more experience purchasing bus tickets and catching buses.
Once in town Barbara made sure our first priority was to take the walk around the tomb of Saint Francis, and we went inside the church and joined the line. That’s one less item in my bucket list. No cameras allowed, so no photos of the saint’s remains.
Beyond that, Assisi is a sight seeing marvel. It’s a medieval European hilltop town, built with the idea of keeping out invading riff-raff. Streets are narrow and winding, but there’s a place to shop or eat on about every block. Of Cortona, Siena and Assisi that we visited, Assisi may be the most hit by tourism.
It was back onto the bus and to the train station then back on the train to Cortona. Our pass is for first class, and we enjoyed the extra room. But not the air conditioning. It was a warm day, and the A/C was on vacation. People were complaining, and the train was moping along, stopping at odd places, and people were trying to open the window vents. Only one succeeded. Just before we got to Cortona the conductor showed up with a tool to open the top window vents. We purchased a big bottle of water at the Cortona station.