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Arrival in Assisi

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At last, I'm in Assisi, and it's pouring rain! But so what -- it's Italy!!!!

My flight to get here was a bit of a grind--Montreal to Zurich, Zurich to Florence. I landed in Florence about 9 a.m. on Sunday and had 3 hours to wait until the next train to Assisi. (Sunday schedules!) So I left my ample luggage with the train station's baggage claim area and spent a couple of hours drinking coffee and prowling central Florence.

I most wanted to see Santa Maria Novella in Florence, but of course, the church was closed to visitors for Sunday morning Mass. Ah well, the sun was shining and outdoors, I was getting lots of sun right after landing which was great for fighting off jet-lag and resetting my body to Italian time. (My heart, of course, constantly beats on Italian time.)

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The train left on time, and ruthless train conductors frequently swept my first-class car for second-class-ticket-carrying interlopers, so I had a very quiet, dull ride. (TrenItalia staff seem quite ruthless about ferreting out people who stumble into the wrong car. This is a sensitive point for me, because I was caught in such a sweep last year, innocently seeking an air-conditioned car, but with only a second-class ticket. This year, I paid the couple of extra euro for the upgrade!)

Once in Assisi, after changing hotel rooms a couple of times to find one I liked, I quickly stowed my things and headed out for a much-needed gelato. Chocolate, inexpensive and taken strictly for medicinal purposes, again to get my body on Italian time. Sunshine also helped, although threatening clouds were building in the north.

I walked up to the Duomo, which I missed last year due to the Pope's interference (an old story) but I was once again blocked from entry. This time, a mournful process of about 100 priests, nuns and other faithful solemnly marched in just as I was taking photos of the Duomo's grand entryway. I trailed in after them, but then decided that if I was going to attend Sunday Mass, I would do it in style.

So, I scooted down to San Francesco and caught the 5 p.m. mass in the beautiful lower church of the Basilica. As I left, the heavens opened up (was I supposed to stay? should I never have left the Duomo? Whatever the message, I didn't get it.)

However, I had gotten pretty hungry by this point. I changed into dry things, cooled my heels until 7;30 and had a fabulous meal at the Piazzette delle Erbe, a Slow Food restaurant in Assisi. My main course was described as pecorino and pear stuffed past which was then caramelized. It was so delicious, but I puzzled for a time over why it was described as caramelized when it was very simply presented, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic. But not caramelized. Later, I realized that described its shape -- like a beautifully wrapped candy! Less like a North America caramel, perhaps, and more like a Halloween toffee. But I got the point.

An early night, and I was up at a decent time for a fantastic Monday at Letizia's cooking class! And that deserves a blog post of its own.


Comments (14)

Yay! I'm so glad you're there and are blogging! Keep taking your "medicine" at least once a day, if not more. Have fun!

Kim:

Yeah, I've been waiting for you to post! That first shot, with the clouds, is amazing!!

Oh, I so enjoyed reading this post this morning! I'm looking forward to following your trip. :)

It is so exciting reading about your first day in Italy! You have waited so long to finally arrive. It sounds like you are settling right in. Gelato...yum! I am jealous! Looking forward to hearing more! :)

I'm happy that you arrived! Take lots of that medicine for me. :-)

chiaro:

Ciao sandrac,
So glad you made it safely to Italy!

Enjoy every moment while you are there.

We leave in less than 2 days for Rome.

Can't wait!


ciao,
chiaro

Jane:

Sandra, I loved the changing rooms until finding one you liked as I drive Ken crazy doing that. But I hate not liking a room. Also, that dinner sounded wonderful--of course, Italian food in Italy always does.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, glad you arrived safe and sound. Gelato for medicinal purposes, I love that! Enjoy your time in Assisi and I look forward to reading more about your great and always interesting experiences.

Thanks so much for this wonderful, fun read.

Glad to hear you have arrived safely and are already into the swing of Italian life.

Jennifer:

OMG...give me that pear!

Dorit:

Sandra,
So happy to read that you are finally in beloved Italy. Too bad for the rain, but as you say it IS Italy!!! Hoping you continue to have a grand time, and anxiously awaiting each and every blog entry.

Ciao ciao!!

sandrac:

Thanks everyone! It's good to be here although the Internet access the hotel in Assisi isn't so good....but I'm going to try to do another quick post!

Chiaro, I hope you also have a great trip!

I’m so happy to see you blogging! Soon I’ll be taking the same medication, lots of it!

Yay hooray you are there! I am excited to hear that. And you write wonderfully, as always.

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