Friday, May 3, 2013

Let's Try This Again

"He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and
his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and
his head and his heart is an artist."
~ St Francis of Assisi

"What do you want to do today?" Mike asked me after we got up this morning. It had rained a good portion of the day yesterday, and except for three brief jaunts out to get a few necessary items (cappuccino being one of them), we didn't do much. Today's forecast was not much better.

"I don't know," I said. I really wasn't in the mood to do anything, to tell the truth. While the sun was shining, I was afraid that the rain would start the minute we went out since our luck has been such this entire trip. "What about you?"

"Where can we go away from here?" he continued. "Do you want to try Assisi again?" No. No. No, I thought.

"We can do that if you want." I'm such a wuss.

By 10 am, we'd taken the train to Sta. Maria degli Angeli (the town at the foot of the mountain that holds Assisi), the bus from there to Assisi, and started to walk up the hilly streets. This week, though, we headed away from the basilica and toward the top of the mountain.

Interestingly, there were fewer tourists in the town today than last Friday even though the town is celebrating Callendemaggio, an annual festival known throughout the region. Apparently, though, activities don't start until much later in the day, so the majority of tourists were waiting until afternoon to get there.

We headed up the hill away from the basilica and ended up in the town square in an area we had visited in 2010 when we were here. While there were some tourists there, their numbers were pretty low. Most of the people seemed to be locals, and we even found the "locals" coffee shop we'd stopped in the first time we were here. We even repeated what we had (rocciata, corneto e due cappuccini, per favore) much to my delight.

In the various piazzas around the town, people were preparing for the festival. Groups of musicians played, and others were making wreathes, floats, and banners. It was quite exciting to see all of the activity and not get pushed and shoved every single moment. We visited a couple of the smaller cathedrals in town, and I even bought a good, old plastic St. Francis for Jason since he, too, is an animal lover.

After we took the bus back to town (another story for another day), we hoofed over to the Basilica in Santa Maria degli Angeli, the church where St. Francis actually started his orders, lived, died and was originally buried. That, too, is another story for another day.

"How far do you think we walked today?" I asked Mike when we got back to our flat.

"No idea," he replied. "Don't worry about it." His telling me that is useless because I do worry about it.... Maybe not worry, but I wanted to make sure I work enough to counter-act that rocciata we shared today. (Rocciata is an Umbrian specialty made mostly in Assisi and that area.)

When we got back to the flat, I found a pedometer app (There's an app for that!!) that would tell me how far we walked if I pinpointed where we walked. I'll put the link to the app at the bottom of this post, but suffice to say that you indicate where you walked/ran/biked, and it tells you how far. So, I did it.

"Does it count more if we walk up steps and uphill?" I wanted to know once I figured out our jaunt in Assisi alone was a little over two miles. Add in the walk to the other basilica, to-and-from the flat to the train, and a some other, and we were over five miles today.

"Of course," Mike said. "You also get points for it being hot and humid." What a guy!

"One rocciata down, so I could have had another." Let's consider what's important here.

Tomorrow we're going to venture into Rome to visit Pope Francis. Something tells me that Saturday at the Vatican will be, well, a zoo. I'll let you know.

(The two photos: I couldn't use Mike's computer to upload tonight, and the iPad app for blogger is different. The top photo is once I took down a street in Assisi today. My camera has the capability to isolate one color and turn everything else black and white, which is what I did. The flags, by the way, are for the festival. The second photo is of some stairs we climbed. I was already 1/2 up when I thought to take the photo, and i wasn't going all the way down to take it from there. ;=)

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