This sight greeted me upon awaking this morning. The only sound is the breeze, the hum of bees, and birds. Letizia, our hostess, makes her own jams: wild cherry and elderflower, from plants that grow here. I know it’s hot in Texas, but it’s hot here, too. Caroline has gone dog crazy. Here is Letizia’s dog, Google, although his fur is turning into dreadlocks.
We went into Assisi and walked down the hill to the Basilica. It really is a grand sight. We loved the Giotto frescoes, especially the ones that depicted the life of Saint Francis. There were two concurring masses in different chapels while we were there. From there we went to a tiny Romanesque church that pre-dates Saint Francis, San Stefano. It is said that the bells rang miraculously upon Francis’s death. We also saw San Ruffino, where Caroline is standing next to a statue of a lion eating a person; they recently discovered 9th century foundations of an earlier church. They put plexiglass so that you can walk over the ruins. Best of all we walked about fifteen minutes out of town to San Damiano, the church that St. Francis rebuilt after his vision from God, and saw the very place where St. Clare (San Chiara) died. It was easier to visualize the spare life of prayer the followers of St. Clare and St. Francis lived when seeing this quiet cloister. A Franciscan was on guard to make sure everyone was silent. This evening we’ll go back to town when it’s cooler. Tomorrow we are going to take a day trip to Gubbio, a medieval hill town. Ciao.