My awesome roommate Momo

My awesome roommate Momo on the train, ready to go (sleep)

Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, where the elaborate decorations contrast with St. Francis' simplistic cottage church - his attempt to follow Christ's orders (spoken through a crucifix) literally and "rebuild my Church"
Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, where the elaborate decorations contrast with St. Francis’ simplistic cottage church – AKA his attempt to follow Christ’s orders (spoken through a crucifix) literally: “Francis, rebuild my Church”

Inside Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli

Inside Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli

We normally don’t have school on Friday, but one day my class had a field trip to Assisi!  It was a special time to visit since the new pope donned the name “Francis” 2 days earlier.  We departed at 7:30 a.m. from Termini Station and took a 2 hour train ride to Assisi.  My coolest teacher, who teaches my “Saints, Mystics, Sinners, Philosophers: Studies in the Catholic Tradition” class (Whew, what a mouthful.  She made it clear that she didn’t make the name, but it does tell you exactly the class entails) met us at the train station and proceeded to lead us around historic churches of Assisi for the entire day.  She is originally from a farm in Illinois, lived in California for a while, and then moved to Assisi and absolutely loves it.  For some reason, seeing this teacher outside of the classroom didn’t feel like looking at an alien.  Her enthusiasm was contagious, and I think it’s an extension of the magical atmosphere in Assisi.  Although sunny and clear, the day was freeeeezing – probably in the upper 20s Fahrenheit with a piercing wind.  Apparently Assisi is significantly colder than Rome, and nobody dressed for it.  Despite the fact that we were all tired, hungry, and chilled to the bone the entire time – all the students were slap-happy.  It was a great group, and I’ll remember that day for a long while…  Nothing extraordinary happened, it was just one of those days when time feels like it did when you were a child – it passes and you play, you play and it passes, and when you whine about the cold and say you’re hungry, everyone else whines with you for one minute, and then you all forget about it because something grabbed hold of your curiosity and you ran off to explore.  I can’t wait to return…(hint, hint)

Inside Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli

Inside Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli

Bus routes of Assisi - the way to get to all the cool stuff!

Bus routes of Assisi – the way to get to all the cool stuff!

The pathway to San Damiano passes through an olive tree field

The pathway to San Damiano passes through an olive tree field

Beautiful mosaic along the pathway to San Damiano…I have a thing for mosaics and stained glass

Steep and steady pathway down to San Damiano

Steep and steady pathway down to San Damiano

Pathway to San Damiano. Europeans sure know how to do..flooring?

Pathway to San Damiano, European outdoor flooring

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San Damiano courtyard

San Damiano courtyard

Along the left side walkway which circles the courtyard in San Damiano, there are a few windows opening up to rooms. This one, is one side of the sisters' dining hall\chapel

Along the left side walkway which circles the courtyard in San Damiano, there are a few windows opening up to rooms. This one is one side of the sisters’ dining hall\chapel

This is the other side

This is the other side

Classic Saint Francis

Classic Saint Francis

At the area near the entrance of San Damiano, convent of Saint Clare.  Behind us, Saint Clare holds up the Blessed Sacrament to defend her community http://art-history-images.com/photo/4143

At the area near the entrance of San Damiano, convent of Saint Clare. Behind us, Saint Clare holds up the Blessed Sacrament to defend her community

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Little man, little doggie!

Little man, little doggie!

Chiesa di San Pietro in Assisi, built in the 10th century by Benedictines

Chiesa di San Pietro in Assisi, built in the 10th century by Benedictines

L'orologio (clock) di chiesa di San Pietro

L’orologio (clock) di chiesa di San Pietro

Some weird veggie combos of bruschetta for lunch

Some weird veggie combos of bruschetta for lunch

Tartufo Pasta (truffle pasta) was our veggie meal on Good Friday, as well as all the other IES-sponsored trips...I'm not complaining!

Tartufo Pasta (truffle pasta) was our veggie meal on Good Friday, as well as all the other IES-sponsored trips (I’m not complaining)

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View from base of Rocca Maggiore, a castle

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Tessie, Katie, and Me at the base of Rocco Maggiore, overlooking Assisi

Tessie, Katie, and I at the base of Rocca Maggiore, overlooking Assisi

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G: “Ahh my face is numb!” M: “I’m fine cause I’m Ukrainian, suckaaa”

Ready to explore Rocco Maggiore

Ready to explore Rocca Maggiore (note my cool teacher is pictured near gate)

Rocco Maggiore's spiral staircases

Rocca Maggiore’s spiral staircases

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Just hanging out on a medieval castle

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Screensavaaa

Screensavaaa

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I captured many a floating orb in the tunnels of Rocco Maggiore (alert Zak Bagans, quick)

I captured many a floating orb in the tunnels of Rocca Maggiore (alert Zak Bagans, quick)

Rocca Maggiore tunnels, Gina, and a big green orb!

Rocca Maggiore tunnels, Gina, and a big green orb!

View of the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi from Rocca Maggiore

View of the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi from Rocca Maggiore

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View of Assisi and the Spoletan valley from Rocca Maggiore, a castle that has been around since 1174

View from topmost terrace of Rocco Maggiore overlooking Assisi and the Spoletan Valley.

View from topmost terrace of Rocca Maggiore overlooking Assisi and the Spoletan Valley.

Basilica di Santa Chiara

Basilica di Santa Chiara

Rose window

Rose windows are my favorite!

Ceiling of the tomb of Saint Clare, whose skeleton is incorrupt

Expensive blue ceiling of the tomb of Saint Clare, whose skeleton is incorrupt

Saint Clare of Assisi defending her convent from the invading Saracens with the Blessed Sacrament. Full story: http://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/h060rp.StClare.html

Saint Clare of Assisi defending her convent from the invading Saracens with the Blessed Sacrament.

Piazza outside the Basilica di Santa Chiara (Saint Clare of Assisi)

Piazza outside the Basilica di Santa Chiara (Saint Clare of Assisi)

Leaving the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi

Leaving the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi, which I did not take any pics of, although it was AWESOME. You’ll just have to visit (or look it up online, it’s another cool dual-level church with the best example of how art evolved at the time)

Last picture I took in Assisi is a shout-out to you, Daddy-o! Cobblestone cycling. Would you do it?

Last picture I took in Assisi is a shout-out to you, Daddy-o! Cobblestone cycling. Would you do it?

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One response »

  1. Mom says:

    First…what a treat to see a new posting!
    Beautiful pictures! (Especially the one of you on top of Rocko Mojo!).
    …I am jealous of your laundry line pic.

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