Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Assisi - part 2

    Yesterday, after enjoying our complimentary breakfast, we caught the bus at 9 for town and the Papal Basilica of S. Francesco! The bus drops you off in the piazza and the lower basilica and crypt is.....wait for it.....up a hill!!!

      So I got a Diet Coke and a taxi (2 things which make me very happy!)and up we went!
      The lower church is awe-filled and art-filled, most notably being the Cimabue painting from which the famous St. Francis is excerpted. I was trying to elude the guard which is why the photo is so blurry - bad, bad Linda!
Cimabue's Virgin with Angels and St. Francis
     We heard Mass going on and it was being celebrated in a chapel by a Chinese priest with a Chinese congregation. It was beautifully done - the priest was a wonderful singer (the congregation, not so much) and he chanted all the prayers and dialogues.
     Then we went to the chapel which houses the altar over the tomb of Francis - a very moving experience.
   Down another staircase, was the actual tomb and a small room of relics of the saint. The tomb itself just looked like a concrete box but His poor little patched robe was so compelling, I couldn't take my eyes off it! Of course, it was encased in glass so the photo is not clear, but you can see the patches- so many that you can hardly tell what the original fabric was..
    Then we went to the upper church......yes, more steps - OY! I was not going to chance photos of the Glorious Giottos, considering the degree of disintegration some of them have suffered. Suffice it to say, they were glorious!!
    We strolled the (insanely hilly) streets of Assisi, had lunch and shopped and visited 2 museums; one was a museum of the missionary efforts of the Umbrian Franciscans in the rainforests of Brazil.
Note the instruments for Mass in the rainforest!

and the other was a state/town museum which looked like it contained the art that was too disintegrated or too poor in quality to make it into the churches. Still there were some lovely things to see
St Francis and the Child Jesus - Mary had disintegrated...

Our Lady of Mercy
     At 4 PM, we were exhausted, so we got a cab DOWN to the piazza where we could catch the bus - we rested and had dinner in the hotel (a very fine dinner of pesto stuffed chicken with carrots and asparagus and oven roasted garlic and rosemary potatoes - major YUM!!!)


  1. Nice one, Mom.
    I would've stared at that robe for a long time too. Still jealous!

  2. I thought of you, Tim!! I knew you would love it there!!

  3. I remember that very tiny (!) and worn...
    The giottos I saw well before the earthquake - and Ray was reprimanded for photographing them! Phenomenally beautiful!

  4. Oh honey, I have been reprimanded inat least 4 churches - the only reason I don't get thrown out is because of the cane! They don't want to be unduly cruel to the handicapped - lol!!!