While strolling through narrow alleys and medieval piazzas of Perugia, rewarding myself with great Italian food, I had to confess that some thoughts were outside of Perugia’s heavy town walls, especially knowing that Assisi wasn’t far. So I decided to track some of Francesco’s trails for a day leaving the town. It was a half hour drive from Perugia passing some vineyards and little villages – for sure romantic and nice, but probably not too different from places already known from middle Italy. Then, after some winding roads this impressive (and steep) hill came up. I guess the picture below describes it much better.
Because of its beauty and unexpected dimension, but secondly, because of the steepness of the pathway (by foot!). I tried to convinced myself that ‘maybe… the foot march up is part of the spiritual experience’, but on the first meters I was well aware I am just trying keep myself going. Passing olive tree after olive tree hiking up and catching a view of the landscape below.
My whole impressions about the trip turned. After some half hour hike entered the old village. Beautifully medieval again – and certainly church after church. Also true, streams of tourists came just from another side – it seemed the main road. I didn’t see any of those people on that steep trail I took. A bit shy from massive tourist streams I always tried to follow the least crowded tracks which might have passed me around the ‘real big’ tourist places, but it didn’t affect me enjoying the village and the views. No complaints regarding the sights, but I cannot recommend visiting the restaurants and bars of Assisi. They are mostly tourism driven and certainly expensive. So I passed them and felt a great willingness to ‘climb up’ to the top of the hill reaching castle Rocca Maggiore.
Up there was an open air festival welcoming people to take a rest on the grass, drink a beer and enjoy Italian food once more, while having a great view over the landscape. Probably that’s already a part of Francesco’s spirit.
Cheers with sunbeams.