Let’s go back to Tuesday, the 12th of May…”Around Umbria” Day

We had challenges with our Internet connections and couldn’t do this day justice, since it’s such a photogenic tour day.

At 10AM, Leonardo, our driver, is came to pick us up at the Villa in Ossaia (just south of Cortona on the edge of Tuscany) to go to Assisi in Umbria.  So much to see there.

Assisi has two Basilica's - one built upon the other.  Here's the top one with the statue of St. Thomas, coming back from a battle when he was very young.
Assisi has two Basilica’s – one built upon the other. Here’s the top one with the statue of St. Thomas, coming back from a battle when he was very young.

We will start in the town, see the Santa Chiara Cathedral, go to the Basilica of San Francesco and end up at the top of the hill at the Hermitage (Carceri), where St. Francis went to be alone.  We were at this Carcieri two years ago in the rain and loved it.  Should be sunny and 80 again.

Santa Chiara church.  She was a friend of St. Francis and founded her own Order of the Poor Clares, who served the same downtrodden folk.
Santa Chiara church. She was a friend of St. Francis and founded her own Order of the Poor Clares, who served the same downtrodden folk.
Outside the Basilica, there's hill dedicated to peace.  We ate lunch at the restaurant behind it.
Outside the Basilica, there’s hill dedicated to peace. We ate lunch at the restaurant behind it.
Here's a Cindy-arranged (thank you) group shot.
Here’s a Cindy-arranged (thank you) group shot.

Forgot a couple things we saw here in Assisi.

Here is San Daemion's cross, which spoke to St. Francis in a vision to
Here is San Daemion’s cross, which spoke to St. Francis in a vision to “clean up my church”….he spent the rest of his life trying to redirect the attention to the poor…just like his namesake, the Pope, is doing today.
A cell where St. Francis father jailed him after the son renounced all of his worldly goods and said he wanted to serve the poor.
A cell where St. Francis father jailed him after the son renounced all of his worldly goods and said he wanted to serve the poor.
Leonardo drove us up about 3 miles to the top of Assisi (actually out of the town) to this area that we found so moving and beautiful.
Leonardo drove us up about 3 miles to the top of Assisi (actually out of the town) to this area that we found so moving and beautiful.
Here's the real name in case your driver doesn't know what you're talking about.
Here’s the real name in case your driver doesn’t know what you’re talking about.
This one was taken in Assisi at the site of the battlements above the cathedral.
Another group shot (taken by the multi-talented Leonardo) at the site of the battlements above the cathedral.  La Rocca.

After Assisi, we head north to another hill town in Umbria – Gubbio.  We wander the piazzas and the narrow byways, then have some coffee drinks -espresso and heated milk – at an outdoor cafe beneath the cathedral walls, overlooking the valley.

The main square at Gubbio that day was inundated with young men, who were going to be involved in a competition of carrying on of four 100 pound candles next week.  Our driver thinks all people in Gubbio are
The main square at Gubbio that day was inundated with young men, who were going to be involved in a competition of carrying one of four 100 pound candles next week. Our driver thinks all people in Gubbio are “crazy”.
The cafe at the Cathedral provided a respite for the mid-afternoon
The cafe at the Cathedral provided a respite for the mid-afternoon “traveler’s letdown” time. Still have one more “event” to go today.

We go to dinner at the Borgo di Carpiano (another Jamie & Stephania McClennen connection) where we have been in 2013 and will be again this month.

The drive takes about 45 minutes, but it’s so circuitous and high on a ridge that first-timers are sure they are lost in time and space.

The last 2 miles of dirt road – actually much improved since our visit in 2013 – will bring thoughts that we are delusional.

But, immediately upon being greeted in front of the restored church building by Riccardo, we are treated to a tour of their ample outside and under glass veggie gardens.

A welcoming sign and an assurance that you have found the place.
A welcoming sign and an assurance that you have found the place.
Riccardo tours the gardens as a first welcoming gesture for his guests.
Riccardo tours the gardens as a first welcoming gesture for his guests.

We then take a stroll through the breathtaking entry hall, down through the kitchen and out to the terrace overlooking the infinity edge pool.

They took 7 years of
They took 7 years of “off-season” from their restaurant in Antigua to renovate this old church as a restaurant and 10 room inn.

Drinks are ordered and served by Emmanuella , who has been here all 7 years and who will stay with us throughout our magnificent dinner upstairs.

Emmanuella has been here all 7 years of the Borgo's existence.
Emmanuella, our expert serving lady.

Dinner at the Borgo is a treat, overseen by owners, Marlisa and Riccardo Parisi…seasoned restauranteurs, now innkeepers.  Richardo will pair the wines with the food.

Driver Leonardo takes us back to the Villa – before midnight – that’s why Chip’s not driving the van this trip.

Buonanotte.

chiproach

Lifelong Philadelphia area Realtor. Now a 10-year citizen of Sanibel, Florida. Married to Nancy for 53 years. Three children (2 in Devon; 1 in Steamboat Springs, CO) and 5 grandkids. Helping with charities involving poverty, kids and education.

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