Friday, September 14, 2012

Vogue and St. Francis

Really and truly this weekend is epic. While other weekends will hold many wonderful adventures in other cities and foreign countries, this weekend is packed with self-made fun. And it was much deserved, for some reason, classes this week were stressful. Yech. But, that's ok because this weekend by far is making up for it! My last class on Thursdays ends at 6:40, and yesterday, we skipped back to the apartment and then made our way to Via del Corso for the one, the only, Vogue Fashion Night Out. So. Great. The streets were packed and almost every store had a DJ blasting music. Several stores had promotional giveaways, coupons, and even cocktails. We shopped around a little bit but really just took in the atmosphere and it was wooooonderful! Even though I was walking dead from such a long day, it was such a great experience!

On Via del Corso before the crowds

Getting home last night, I was exhausted, but this morning we were out the door by 9am to head to school. Usually, 9am + school = ugh, but not today! We were meeting to go on a day trip to Assissi, which is so not ugh. When we woke up this morning it was cold (in the 50's!) and rainy rainy rainy, and the forecast was the same for Assissi. Since we got to school a bit before we were supposed to leave, I ran down to a bar (not an alcoholic bar. fyi bars in italy are where you get coffee) and had my very first cappuccino! And it. was. amazing. Really and truly, SO good. I've found my first Italian love. 

the glorious one and only

about to dive in! 

After the coffee, we hopped on the bus and started the 2 hour excursion to Assissi. The drive was nice, I fit in a couple naps and plenty of watching the Italian scenery roll by. And then we finally made it to Assissi, a beautiful little town perched on top of a hill in the Umbria region, home of the most notable St. Francis of Assissi. Our time there consisted of a great lunch at a hole-in-the-wall cafe, a tour of the Basilica di San Francesco d'Assissi, a tour of the town, and some time left to wander on our own. The cathedral was really wonderful, unfortunately we weren't allowed to take any pictures while inside. But some interesting tidbits: St. Francis started the institution of Friars in Assissi, embracing a life of poverty. For this reason, there are no paintings in the cathedral, only frescoes (paintings done on the existing walls and ceilings). Additionally, there is only one nave, while as many larger cathedrals have multiple naves, this was done in keeping with St. Francis' value of poverty. And by far the most intriguing thing about this cathedral is that below it, a crypt was built, and the stone coffin containing St. Francis' remains is distinctly and visibly set within an altar. (Really it was actually installed so it's practically hovering over the alter. You can see a picture of it here.)

It rained the whole time, but it really was beautiful. Although one thing  I will say: that town is nothing but hills. It was quaint and beautiful and charming, but everything was on a slant. All the same, it made for a precious day trip, and it really was nice to get out of Rome for a bit and get away from the city. 

in the main piazza of Assissi

exterior of the Basilica di San Francesco d'Assissi

view from the hill

Assissi in the rain

One last tid bit, on the drive home, we saw sheep! Yes, sheep! Tons of them all along the side of the road! And of course this made me think of my sweet friend, Beth! Beth, I wish you had been there, you would have loved it!

look at those precious little blurs!


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