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Italy: Day 7 – Assisi

March 8, 2010

FRIDAY, April 18, Umbria


Today is overcast and chilly, but we’re headed to Assisi, and I’m excited. We park at Piazzo Mateotti and pay E5.50 for parking for most of the day.

Our first stop is the Basilica of St. Francis, and shortly before we get there, the skies open and it pours. We’re awed by the basilica, and examine every last bit of it. The lower church in particular is inspiring, along with the relic room. Afterward, we realize we don’t have any pictures of the interior; I think I remember seeing signs that they weren’t allowed, but we also were so wrapped up in what we were seeing that it didn’t even occur to me to think about taking pictures.

We have our worst meal of the trip at a restaurant on Via di Francesco. How can Italians overcook pasta?

We tour S. Nuovo (church built on the site of St. Francis’ parent’s house), S. Chiara (tomb of St. Clare), the Temple of Minerva (church built on ancient temple), and San Rufino (church where Francis and Clare were baptized), fortified along the way with a stop for gelato. By this time, we’re cold, wet, and tired, and now Charlie’s coming down with a cold, too. We abandon our plans to follow further in the steps of Francis and instead head home.

Charlie gets some tea, and I head out for my first experience with an Italian pharmacy (farmicia in Italian, and it’s so much fun to say: farm-a-chee-a), after practicing the sentence “I need cold medicine.” I had brought some from home, but had used most of it on my cold earlier in the trip. I’m surprised to find no medicines displayed in the store. I’m told by the lady at the door that I have to ask the “dottore.” The pharmacist nods, asks if I wanted tablets or syrup (thank goodness I had also looked up those words and thus knew them, since the dottore had very minimal English), and holds out a box. I would prefer Dayquil or Sudafed, but my limited Italian doesn’t include “Do you have any other brands?” He notices my bewilderment, and just shoves the package toward me, saying, “yes, cold, here.” Okay, forget comparison shopping!

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From → Italy

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