Northern Italy Road Trip Part IIIAuthor: Jim and Donna C. (More Trip Reviews by Jim and Donna C.)
Date of Trip: October 2010
We woke to a rooster crowing outside and another sunny day. We showered and packed up, heading downstairs for breakfast. We had yogurt, rolls and coffee. Nicely done.
Checking out, we spoke with the gentleman at the front desk. He recommended that we see Sienna but also that we take a roundabout course through the Tuscan countryside. He also made suggestions on what to see in Assisi. We packed the car and we're off.
We took his advice and headed through the countryside. It was really beautiful. We stopped along the way taking a few pictures but mostly just enjoying the vast plowed fields and acres and acres of grape vines and olive trees. Even saw a small bunch of sun flowers left over from the summer!
We wound our way back toward Sienna and headed to the Soccer stadium as it has a lot of general parking for the city. To summarize a tedious and frustrating hour or so, this was public market day and there was no parking to be found. We gave up. Three tries, but no joy. Something we will leave to another visit. We actually saw Sienna, just not the tourist attractions.
We set Lola to the Agritourismo in Perugia near Assisi, and off we went. It took us a few false starts to find the place. Lola had us stopping at the beginning of the road, while the place was at the very end on top of a hill. We eventually made it but no one was around. It is a beautiful place overlooking Perugia and Assisi in the distance.
After playing with the local cat for a while, we decided to head to one of the recommended sites, Santa Maria Degli Angeli Assisi, the third largest "church" in the world.
We found it easily and hit an empty parking lot. Can this be? We parked and walked to the church, not really knowing what it was all about. We entered the church and it was very beautiful. In the middle of the big church was a complete little church, the church of St. Francis of Assisi. We stumbled on one of our goals.
We wandered around the church, saw the rock upon which St. Francis died along with his rope "belt" for his robe. Jim lit a candle for his dad as is his custom. After walking the church we went out to the Rose Garden, and to the book store, buying a couple of post cards and mementos.
Leaving the church we heard the nuns singing evening vespers. It was beautiful. We returned to the car after taking a couple more pictures of the outside of the church heading to our Agritourismo.
We found the place fairly easily this time as Jim had saved the location in Lola. An older gentleman was there who spoke only Italian and German. We made our arrangements for two nights at 80 Euros a night including breakfast. We were shown to our room, which was UPTSAIRS of course. Nice room overlooking the Tuscan valley and the town of Perugia.
We hauled our luggage up to the room. Unpacking a little, our little cat friend showed up. We played with her for a while. We had asked the owner what the cat's name was. He said Gatolina, i.e. she didn't really have a name just a small female cat. She was a cute tiger with gold eyes who did like petting and playing.
We were able to get a couple of suggestions for dinner as the owner gave us a couple of business cards. We programmed Lola for the recommended Pizzeria, the less expensive of the two options. Lola took us to an industrial site, so we rest and headed to the nicer restaurant.
Arriving at 1745, were told it wouldn't open until 1930. We decided to try and find another place. After driving around for thirty minutes we headed back to the restaurant. We only had to wait a few minutes and were seated immediately. We had an excellent dinner of lamb and the same greens we enjoyed at the Agritourismo near the Cinque Terre. Finishing a great dinner we headed back to our room
Arriving in the dark, it was difficult to open the door to our room. We got in after a few false starts. It was really cold. We checked the radiators and they were off. We turned knobs but were afraid we were going to be without heat again. After about a half hour we found, much to our delight, that we did have heat.
We watched the BBC as Jim got the log caught up. Weather forecast for Rome is rain for Thursday and Friday. Rome is about 100 miles away. We will see Assisi tomorrow, then pack up our stuff, cleaning out the car getting ready to turn it in on Friday.
We are about at the end of our driving tour of Italy. Next stop will be our cruise back to the U.S. It has been fun but it will be great to sleep in, stay unpacked and have someone else make decisions on where to park!
So to bed at 2215.
Thursday, October 21, 2010 -- cold and foggy
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