Today was a traveling day as we moved from Milano to Assisi. This trip required the riding of three trains, each becoming progressively smaller as we went. The first one was a Eurostar train that we took to Firenze (Florence). We sat with a very nice woman from Bern, Switzerland who shared an exquisite fruit bread with us. She said that it was a delicacy in her country.
The first problem that we encountered was the fact that we only had 13 minutes to get to our next train. We hustled our way down the platform, both looking for any sign that might tell us which platform our second train was leaving from. We found the platform….number 12, and the train was there, but we couldn’t figure out why we could not get the doors to open. Finally we realized that we were on the wrong side of the platform, so we ran back around the front and hustled into the car.
This is when the rot set in. We asked a young man sitting behind us if we were on train number 2311 and he hesitantly said yes….we were not completely convinced at this point. Then, we started looking at the signs in the train car which would NORMALLY tell you which stations the train was stopping at. As the train left the station, we realized that, according to those signs, we were headed to Sienna which was the exact opposite to our intended destination. We debated about getting off of the train and returning to Florence, but finally decided to just stay on and to start over again when we reached Sienna. But, we also started noticing that the stops were not the same as the ones on the sign and when we stopped in Arezza, we realized that we were indeed on the correct train….whew!!!
We then had 10 minutes to get onto our third train of the day. Unfortunately, this entailed carrying our HEAVY suitcases down one flight of stairs and UP another. The little train to Assisi was one 3 cars long but was a very nice train. The route took us thru many small villages with wonderful vistas out the windows.
We arrived in Assisi and took a taxi to the Hotel Berti. It is a cute hotel of about 15 rooms with 5 on each floor. We took the lift up to our room and it was so small that we just barely fit with our two suitcases. The room is small and cute and the shuttered windows look out onto the plaza.
The bathroom is tiny, with the shower only about 2.5 feet square…..it is painful when you drop your soap.
After relaxing on the patio for a few minutes, we grabbed our stuff and set out to explore the city. Assisi is built on a mountain and the panoramic vistas are maginificent.
The main streets run the length of the city, with many of the crossways between the roads being stairs. I use the tern “street” loosely as most will barely fit a car. Having said that, there are many small busses that run on these streets. We found that many people drive VERY fast down these streets so we were constantly listening for a car to come up behind us.
Our goal was to climb every set of stairs that we came to….and we did, seeing some beautiful sights along the way…..
This is a small chapel for Francis of Assisi….it apparently marked the building where he was born….
We particularly enjoyed this shop….especially the Mule balls that you could purchase……
We returned to our hotel area and had dinner at a local restaurant that was associated with the hotel. The food was excellent….we began with Bruschetta….mine was tomato and basil and Michael’s was mushroom (funghi) and truffle.
For the main course, Michael enjoyed grilled Veal steak and I had Veal Scaloppini with artichokes. We finished the meal off with side dishes of roasted potatoes and Insalata Mista (tossed salad with oil and vinegar), and a wonderful house red wine.
We walked back toward the hotel and stopped to buy Gelato. After sitting on the patio while eating it, we headed off to bed….the first night that we made it to bed before midnight!!!!!