The Nagasawa family trip to Italy and France:  June 12 - 30, 2008




June 12    Fly to Rome June 21 Fly to Marseilles
June 13 Arrive in Rome June 22 Drive to Les Barcares
June 14 Rome June 23 Sigean Animal Reserve
June 15 Assisi, drive to Venice June 24 Priory of Serrabona
June 16 Venice June 25 Collioure
June 17 Drive to Florence June 26 Relax in Claira
June 18 Florence, drive to Siena & Orvieto June 27 Drive to Barcelona
June 19 Orvieto, drive to Rome June 28 Relax in Claira
June 20 Rome June 29 Drive to Marseilles
    June 30 Fly back to Boston

(the links are the days in purple; click on them to see pictures)


June 15, 2008:


We drove from Rome out through the Umbrian countryside to Assisi, the home of Italy's patron saint Francis of Assisi.  Assisi is a beautiful city, surrounded by olive trees and vineyards.   


Tourists and pilgrims flock to Assisi all the time to see the tomb of Francis...



...inside the huge basilica in honor of Francis.


During Assisi's economic ascendancy as an intersection of trade in the 12th century, Francis renounced his merchant father's wealth, made a vow of poverty, cared for lepers and the poor, preached and renewed people's faith, founded a Catholic order for men committed to the same ideal, and then helped a former rich girl named Clare of Assisi start one for women.  So there's at least a little irony that such a huge basilica stands in his honor, holding his tomb, and surrounded by souvenir shops, wine shops, and hotels. 


But Assisi's narrow steps and streets are totally charming.

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