We started the morning by slowly awaking in the darkness to the sound of thunder, wind, and rain! You are lying in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere in Umbria and you realize that what you are experiencing what others for hundreds of years have experience right in this same valley. You feel such a connection to the earth and this land and the souls who must still wander here!
Slowly you come back to the 21st century and realize you need to get up and get some coffee brewing. The rain was already subsiding and the light of the dawn was starting to drape the hills and burn the mist and fog. About that point, Scott awoke and joined me and I convinced him to join me to brave the remaining showers and semi darkness to find the wood pile so we could make a fire in the fireplace before everyone arose. We got that going and the coffee was ready so I had some time to work on my blog, download pictures, and charge up my cameras and phone for the upcoming day.
Once that was caught up and I could hear people stirring so it was time to make breakfast! From the market we had purchased potatoes, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, and pancetta. Scott and I got to work. I sent him down to grab some fresh herbs from the garden including rosemary, sage and thyme. We chopped potatoes, mushrooms and tomatoes, diced the pancetta, and scrambled the eggs and breakfast was underway!
With breakfast enjoyed, it was off to Assisi! About an 80 minute drive through the Tiber River valley bypassing Perugia, and then ascending the hill to Assisi we all found our way to the top parking lot. We all gathered and made our way to the center piazza which would be our gathering spot. From there we made our way to the Cattedrale San Francesco - the Saint Francis Cathedral. Many of my travelers took the tour through - which I highly recommend. Isabel and I had done it several times on past trips so we made it back to the main square where we enjoyed a wonderful lunch and then a cannoli and a gelato and then a nap on the steps of the piazza. Slowly everyone made there way back to the piazza after all dining in their own unique finds. We all grabbed a drink and made our way back to our cars for the drive home.
We had originally planned to go to Perugia after Assisi but everyone was ready to go back to the country houses to relax, nap, and rejuvenate! After a two hour nap for some and a swim for some others it was time to grab dinner. Glen, Isabel, and I headed to town where I knew a great spot for "take-away" pizzas and salad. We selected 9 different pizzas, some insalata mistas and some melon and prosciutto and placed our order. The lady who runs the restaurant and bar said it would take about an hour so we thought we would walk down the street to the market to pick up supplies for the house. No sooner did we get there, when the restaurant owner came rushing in to purchase all of the ingredients for our order! We literally helped her carry everything back to the kitchen, ordered a bottle of wine and sat down on the street out front to watch the locals make their way through town and in and out of the restaurant! What fun to experience something like that - no one spoke English and I'm sure we stuck out like sore thumbs!
I ducked in and watched the chef make the pies and enjoyed tying to chat with him while taking pictures all along the way. The pizzas came together, went in the oven and we were getting close. We finished our bottle of wine and enjoyed some more of the locals while Glen, Isabel and I compared our journeys through life and swapped stories about our kids and our pasts!
Once everything was done, we loaded the 9 pizza boxes, the salads, and melons and headed back home and up the hill! When we arrived, the party had started and the jug wine was open! With food, wine and everyone rested we enjoyed a nice meal at the country houses, followed by some more wine and cigars, along with more stories about life, all while on the porch watching the sliver of the new moon set over the hills of Umbria.
Just another marvelous day in Umbria.