Tuesday in Assissi

 (/p> On Tuesday morning we boarded the bus for a 2 1/2 hour drive north of Rome to Assissi. The drive was beautiful. In the distance off to the east, we could see a beautiful range of snow capped mountains. On either side of the Autobahn we got a chance to view the beautiful green countryside of the "back of the boot". Also, during the bus ride Linda Clancy led a rosary for the entire group. As you can see from the photo at the top of this page, the city of Assissi is divided between the ancient city on the top of the hill and what they referred to as lower Assissi next to the highway. The church on the top of the hill is the Basilica of St. Francis. The church in the foreground is the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli

Assissi is one of the very few cities that was not destroyed during World War II. By agreement of all parties, Assissi was declared a Red Cross city and the red cross was painted on the roofs of most of the buildings. However, the Basilica of St Francis on the top of the hill was badly damaged by an earthquake on September 26th, 1997. Luckily for our group, the restoration of the basilica was completed very recently and was reopened to the public just the week before our trip. The restoration artists had spent over three years carefully picking up the individual chips of paint that had fallen from the ceilings and walls and then painstakingly replacing each chip to the specifications of the digital photographs that had been taken before the earthquake. They estimate that they have restored approximately 80% of the original works of art.

Father Matt celebrated his last daily mass of the trip in a beautiful chapel inside the Basilica of St Francis. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to photograph the interior because of the possible damage that the flash photography could do to the frescoes.

After mass, we had several hours to walk around the town, visit a small chapel built over the birthplace of St. Francis, [search for Pat], visit the Temple of Minerva in the town square where a local dog dutifully howled every hour on the hour with the chiming of the church bells, [search for Pat], enjoy a wonderful local lunch, [search for Pat], [search for John's wedding ring], do a little shopping, [search for Pat and for John's ring], eat some ice cream, [FOUND JOHN'S RING (it was in his pocket), visit the police station, [FOUND PAT], and finally, visit the beautiful Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli.





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