Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Italy, Part Four -- Assissi

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While we had the car, we visited the city of Assissi, which is built on top of what would be called a butte in the U.S.

This city was the home town of St. Francis of Assissi, the patron saint of animals, and we saw pets everywhere. The city is accessible only by a steep climb, and is very small because it can contain only what will fit atop the butte, so we did not see any farm animals. However, we did not see the hungry cats and dogs that wander other Italian cities--obviously here they are all cared for.

Assissi today is primarily a tourist destination. The entire city is a pedestrian area--the only motorized vehicles are for deliveries or maintenance. We stayed here one night, in a beautiful modern B&B built like all of Assissi, straight up and down. We left our car in the huge parking lot at the foot of the hill, and took only our backpacks. That turned out to be a good choice, for the only access to our rooms was a narrow spiral staircase. We might have gotten our wheeled suitcases to the door, but I don't think we could have carried them up those stairs.

Modern Assissi is built on Roman Assissi, and you can visit the ancient streets and forum--which are now under ground.

We enjoyed visiting the underground city, and wandering about the modern city above--much of the modern part is of course Renaissance. When you go to Italy, try to arrange to have a day in this unique city.

Definitive Guidebook to Italy

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