Seeing Assisi

Our villa is equipped with all mod cons, including a coffee machine and no less than four Italian coffee percolators. I made Lynette a coffee this morning, when she commented that it tasted awful. I wondered what I had done wrong, as I had already consumed a cup, which tasted perfectly fine. She thought it might have been the long life milk, but it turned out to be the salt, mistaken for sugar.

After that amusing interlude, we decided to drive to Assisi to see the sights, as did several hundred other people. We enjoyed a delicious lunch in a quiet side street, and a yummy gelato after. It was pretty hot and as you can tell, we were blown away by the religious icons, especially Dave. 

We returned to our villa to enjoy another spectacular sunset and marvel at the number of vapour trails crisscrossing the sky. Orvieto awaits.


Approaching from the carpark, we can see the Basilica of St Claire an ancient church which was built around the same time as the church of St Francis of Assissi. There obviously was a construction boom in Assisi in the 13th century.


Lynette right in front of St Caire's with its striped travertine stonework.


A type of buttress at the side of St Claire's. Probably the most famous buttresses in cathedrals is Notre Dame where the "Flying Buttress" reached its apex. As churches became ever more ornate, higher and crucially, heavier, the buildings natural inclination was to explode outwards from the sheer weight on the arches. As the arch comes down, the supports want to go out. Solution? Buttress the base of the arches/tops of the columns so that the outward force was counteracted. In this example, a rudimentry arch has the same effect. It took hundreds of years for the technique to be refined to the extent that you see on Notre Dame.


The Basilica from the other direction.


Those ancient Italians knew what they were doing when they established villages way back. You can imagine the conversation: Can you tell me again exactly why we need to build our village on the top of a hill, it's all too hard to build up there. Reply: Well, apart from not being overun by the invading hordes, imagine the resale value once people start moving into this area.


A random bell tower


The Basilica of St Ruffino, the latest of the big churches built in Assisi. It is built on top of the Basilica of St Francis, yes on. top. of.


Here we go: Directly underneath St Ruffino's is St Francis as well as other crypts and monasteries. Building started in the 1200's when St Francis was declared a saint. Inside these churches are countless pieces of priceless art painted and carved by the masters of the day. This site is probably number 2 or 3 behind the Vatican in terms of importance to Italian Catholics. All this for a person who renounced all his wealth to serve the poor of the region and lived a life of poverty himself. These places hardly reflect his values


The Square adjacent to St Francis. They were building this stage for some event, but we had been here previously when all the areas under the verandahs in the pics were occupied by merchants selling Assisi stuff and all manner of souvenirs and religious iconography.


Back home with the Tipo and the villa.We have the downstairs section.


Another surreal sunset, this time created by a proliferation of vapour trails of the numerous jets that pass over this part of Italy. Dozens if not hundreds every day.


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