We returned from our educational field trip to Sicily last Saturday night and I decided to do a day trip to Assisi the very next day. My friend Jacqueline came to Assisi along with me which was great. When we arrived to Assisi by train and had to take a bus to the central area of the city. The bus came an hour late, typical Italian style. This definitely helped us practice our patience. But getting on the bus was quite difficult as all the tourists shoved their way into the bus. We first visited the Basilica where I was overcome by the stained glass and Giotto’s beautiful frescoes of the life of St. Francis. We went to the tomb of St. Francis as well which was actually emotional for me as he is one of my favorite saints. St. Francis had an obvious love for serving others and he loved animals, thus he is one of my role models. We also went to the building where St. Francis grew up where a church, Chiesa Nuova, now stands. We then visited St. Clare’s church where we saw St. Clare’s tomb, locks of her hair, slippers, and even garments. We also saw garments and personal items owned by St. Francis which was amazing. One of my favorite parts of the trip to the city was seeing the original Franciscan cross, it was so beautiful. I have grown up seeing the Franciscan cross in my home and it as amazing seeing the cross that all others are replicated after.
While we walked through the city we met another college aged traveler named Peter who was from Canada . We got lunch with Peter and enjoyed sharing travel stories, he was a kind soul and I cherished the time we got to spend with him.
Walking through the city was so special, definitely my favorite Italian city this far. The surrounding mountains and land were both gorgeous, the light colored stone that filled the city, the joy around, the many Franciscan missions that were sprinkled throughout the city, all combined had a special impact on me. I had never seen so many people from religious orders in a town before. We even visited some of the missions which were wonderful and filled with many people who had beautiful hearts. We ended our day with some refreshing lemon granita and a peaceful train ride back to Florence. I could have easily stayed in Assisi for an entire weekend and I hope to return to the beautiful city again some day. Stay true, live justly, and always travel on.