Monday, April 15, 2013

Assisi & the Small Country of San Marino

Back in November we were supposed to visit Assisi with my parents since we were spending the night in Perugia with them. But Hurricane Sandy had other plans in store for us, and while my parents were able to fly into Rome the same day that they had intended, it was later than planned and we weren't able to fit in Assisi. Determined to visit, we stopped in Assisi for the night while on our way to Le Marche in order to explore this exquisite city.

View from Basilica di Francesca 
Assisi boasts many churches and is considered a very spiritual city, with people making pilgrimages each year to share in its tranquility. We went to the mother church of Assisi, Basilica di Francesca. The church is built into a hill and is comprised of the Upper Church and Lower Church. There is also a crypt where the remains of St. Francis are buried.

One thing we noticed about Assisi is that it is very hilly. It felt like every road we walked on directed us UP, whether it be on wider main roads or small and quaint alleyways. Every building is made of stone, with doorways and windows to houses peeking out.

Did we mention that there a lot of churches in Assisi?

Basilica della Santa Chiara

On our way to the region of Le Marche we decided to make a slight detour and visit the country of San Marino. San Marino is the third smallest country in Europe (Vatican City and Monaco are one & two) and is surrounded by Italy on all sides. It's located 2,100 feet into the sky and requires a steep walk uphill to get to the center.

San Marino looks like it has largely given over to tourism, with souvenir shops at every turn and restaurants advertising their menus in English, but it was nice to walk around this country. We had been looking forward to gorgeous views that we had read about, but unfortunately we were stuck in the middle of a huge cloud and could barely see the buildings in front of us!

Jon and the beautiful view down below.

On the drive down, out of the clouds. 
Our detours led us to some great sights and with only three months to go we're glad that we were able to squeeze in Assisi and San Marino. Next up, the region of Le Marche!

No comments:

Post a Comment