August 16 - To the Umbrian Town of Assisi

The trip to Assisi today was long and on one leg of the journey, lacked air conditioning, but the spectacular scenery made up for the humidity. Racing through the countryside we passed vineyards, olive groves, and ancient hill towns often crowned with an old castle, now in ruins.

Riding on trains you always encounter unusual characters. We had the train car all to ourselves and were drifting off to sleep when we were suddenly snapped awake from our dream state by accordion music. I’m afraid our donation wasn’t good enough because the young musician accepted our coin and scurried off into the next car. At another station, a young woman boarded a train passing out notes seeking donations for a baby we never saw. We have seen this scene again and again in Italy.

The train pulled into Assisi right on time, but when the door opened, it was like stepping into an oven. In the distance Assisi looked magnificent with the church at the edge of the hill and a castle at the summit. Our taxi wove at top speed around the narrow streets causing people to jump aside or simply flatten themselves against the stone buildings. Arriving at the Hotel Umbra, we were thrilled with our room. Decorated in an old world style, we feel like royalty. Our room has a balcony with a view of the countryside which will be great to enjoy in the evenings. 

Dinner tonight was at Locanda Del Pobesta. It has wonderful stone walls and the doors were left open to let in the fresh air. We had bruschetta with wafer thin truffles that tasted as fresh as the earth after a rain shower in the spring. Our main entrée was a filet of beef in Sagrantino wine. It was the most tender and tasty steak we have ever had. Potatoes roasted with rosemary were served on the side.

After dinner we walked around the old town and were amazed at the number of families out too. Children of all nationalities played soccer in front of the church while their parents sat on the old city walls admiring the city twinkling city lights of Umbria that spread for miles below us. What a breathtaking sight for a summer evening.


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