Mariola has been unwell for a few days so today she decided to stay behind and soak up the gorgeous outlook and recharge her batteries.
Andre and I were left to our own devices and decided to go to Assisi. We packed our backpacks and Andre put the map for Assisi in his back pocket and off we went in the car.
Unfortunately, when we got to Assisi the map was missing. Apparently it fell out of Andre’s pocket on the way to the car! Oops.
Assisi is a beautiful town perched high on a hill and is the birthplace of St Francis, the patron saint of animals.
We stopped off in the Piazza and went into a lovely church. Inside we were treated to a group of men and monks singing. The acoustics is amazing and it was quite moving.
We climbed the hill to see the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi. There were lots of people doing the same thing as it is a festival weekend for this part of Italy and lots of celebrations are going on.
The Basilica was breathtaking. On the approach there was a long grassed area with a beautiful bronze statue of Saint Francis.
As you walk towards the Basilica you get an idea of its size and beauty.
Inside was absolutely magnificent and very well preserved. The ceilings were covered in exquisite frescos and the art work was beautiful. This landmark has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2000. The building comprises of two churches plus the crypt, where the remains of St Francis are interred.
In the lower church the entire ceiling space was covered in frescos and the crypt had a very peaceful and calming atmosphere.
After exploring this area it was time for us to have lunch so we seek out the speciality of the area, risotto with black truffle sauce which was delicious. Over lunch we discussed the afternoon itinerary. I quickly ducked to the toilet which proved to be a disaster!
I got locked in the toilet and couldn’t get out. There was no phone reception and I just had to bang on the door and hope someone would eventually hear me. Luckily, Andre is ever attentive, and heard my faint calls for help.
Well that of course called for gelatos!!!
We couldn’t get over how pretty the town was, with all the beautiful flowers on the balconies and around the front doors.
The architecture was a little different from where we had been before as well, with quite light coloured stone work.
Andre has also been trying to capture the little trucks that the Italians drive around in with their loads of firewood or work tools. They are three wheeled and very cute and we all note that it only seems to be old men that drive them. We think the young men are maybe embarrassed!
We snuck into the University for a quick look at the view. I of course, fell in love with this well and didn’t understand why Andre wouldn’t help me put it in his backpack.
We then made our way to the opposite side of town to visit Rocco Maggiore. This is a fortress built in 1316 and again has been preserved very well after many additions and renovations to the building over the centuries.
On our return home, Mariola was feeling a little brighter so we decided to go to a restaurant that she had discovered when researching Spoleto last year.
This did not disappoint. We were treated like royalty by everyone and we had the most exquisite meal.
The chef sent out a little plate of delicacies for each of us. A little pate, a little cheese mousse, and a seafood paste.
Andre decided to have an entree and the chef didn’t want Mariola and I to feel left out so he sent a little bowl of local soup and a little version of Andre’s entree which was fine delicate pastry with cheese and pesto.
For mains I had, tagliatelle with almonds, hazelnuts and pine nuts and fresh black truffle grated over it.
Andre had a delicate risotto with scallops and scampi.
Mariola chose the duck which again was delicious.
By this time we were feeling a little full, but after such delicious courses I didn’t feel I could pass up dessert . I ordered a meringue chocolate and cream and pistachio concoction and much to my horror, Mariola told the waitress “we will have three spoons”!
Again the chef felt we couldn’t miss out and sent out three little tiramisu for us to have as well😊 which are the feature picture for this post.
We had the most memorable meal, and as we were leaving the chef came out to shake our hands. We did feel very special.
Spoleto was having their annual festival so as we walked to our car there was a disco happening in the piazza and we couldn’t resist going over to listen and have a bit of a dance( in the dark where no one could see us)
Satisfied we rolled to the car and went home.