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Report 1177: Where's Your Passport? How Not To Start A Trip To Umbria

By Russell Wayne from Connecticut, Fall 2006

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Page 18 of 20: Miracle at Madonna Del Bagni

photo by Russell Wayne

Madonna Dei Bagni

The morningís weather was superb and we got off to a great start. We parked behind the Basilica, stopped across the street for cornetti, coffee, and the Herald Tribune. Then walked around to the front of the Basilica and went inside. Itís a huge building of great interest. For one thing, there are 20 confessionals, available in numerous languages. So many confessionals? I wonder why. More compelling, however, is the Portiuncula, which is the original church of St. Francis. Itís a tiny place around which the Basilica was built. This is one of the ďmustĒ places to visit.

As the Basilica was closing for midday, we left and made the short drive to Porta Nuova, the parking lot at the base of Assisi. Then we walked up the hill toward La Fortezza for lunch. A year earlier, we had dinner at La Fortezza, one of Michelinís Bib Gourmand restaurants. It was as good as before, with superb service, excellent food, and outstanding value.

Following lunch, we stopped in for a second visit to Santa Chiara, then walked back to Porta Nuova to get the Zefira. Next on our list was Madonna Dei Bagni, a sacred spot best known for the visions of the Virgin and miracles that had taken place there. It was easy to find, slightly west of the road south from Perugia to Deruta. Just follow the signs from the exit and youíll be there in a few minutes.

Madonna Dei Bagni is a quiet spot with a tiny church. The walls of the little church are lined with tiles donated by people who had come looking for miracles and got their wishes. There were many tiles. The only other person there at the time was a young woman who sat transfixed throughout our visit. We figured that she was hoping for a very big miracle.

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