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Italy: Day 11 – Umbria

March 12, 2010

TUESDAY, April 22, Umbria

We take back roads today over towards Todi on our way to Deruta, but decide against visiting Todi, having been hit with the “not-another-hill-town” syndrome. We have a wonderful time in Deruta; it’s quite sleepy and quiet, and great weather for roaming around the upper town and into the shops. I especially like the church, and the pottery pieces inside on the altar and ambo. We find a shop where the owner wants to make a sale, and offers us an “American” discount because the dollar is so weak. We also get a discount for paying in cash. He’s very proud of his designs, and I’m thrilled with the platter we buy.

As we drive toward home through Perugia, Charlie sees a McDonald’s sign and I find myself backtracking off the highway to find it. He’s a happy camper with a couple of cheeseburgers inside him! Since we’re having such a relaxing day, we decide against seeing any sights in Perugia, since navigating the city would have been a little tense.

We stop at Santa Maria degli Angeli, the church in the town below Assisi, since we didn’t have the time or energy when we went to Assisi. This church in a quite unassuming location boasts quite a find: the porziuncola, a tiny chapel dating from the 300s and rebuilt by St. Francis. It’s smack-dab in the middle of the basilica. It’s relatively empty and quiet, and we spend some time in the Porziuncola, which is just beautiful. It’s a beautiful, humbling experience.

Back in Spoleto, we make another trip to the grocery store to buy some Sagratino wine for our friends, then we stop for some pre-dinner gelato. Dinner is once again pizza al taglio.

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