Monday, November 10, 2014

Italy: Pisa/Assisi

We left Genoa and headed to Assisi for our week-long stay. But, of course, we couldn't resist stopping at Pisa on the way.

We took the cheesy Leaning Tower pic, toured the Duomo, walked around a bit and had lunch. The choice obviously was pizza ... pizza in Pisa.

Then, we were off to our apartment in Assisi.

Driving into Assisi was magnificent ... the whole region of Umbria (the hill region of Italy) is picturesque. These were the most spectacular driving views we've ever seen.

 We checked into our little one-bedroom apartment, which was right outside of the walls of Assisi, in the hills. But, to this Louisiana girl ... them ain't "hills", they're mountains.

{Things to ponder concerning our apartment ... the only English television we could get on the satellite was CNBC (no thank you) and about four Christian stations, which broadcasted music videos from the nineties and old children's programs with very poor images of "animated" stuffed animals ... worse than claymation. We were finally able to get one episode of Veggie Tales! Thank God! So ... that's what the satellites are sending over. And, multiple overdubbed episodes of Castle.

I had to learn how to make coffee with no coffee maker. Interesting and very different from what we're used to. In fact, coffee in general in Italy is SO different from what we are accustomed to. But, I could definitely get used to it. I mean ... espresso bars in EVERY gas station?!?! Ok!

I didn't realize how much I was dependent upon my microwave. No microwaves. Just ovens and stoves.

Also ... the bedit ... no. But, I could see how people would want to use it because the toilet paper is like tiny squares of Brawny, but rougher. Ouch.

That's it ... for now.}

This was our morning view.

On our very first day in Assisi, we wanted (or should I say I wanted) to catch the last day of the Eurochocolate Festival. Beau could haveskipped it, I'm sure. It was very crowded. Oh, what a woman will do for chocolate!

So, we parked the fiat and took the train into Perugia.

We sampled lots of chocolate with drinking chocolate being my favorite and scored all kinds of chocolate to bring home.

Perugia was also quite beautiful. Hills, hills all around.

We ate lunch overlooking the city. Gorgeous and delicious. On this trip, I discovered that I am quite the fan of lamb chops. Ate them twice while there.

The next day we toured Assisi. We absolutely LOVED this town. The streets and images are exactly what you would picture a small Italian town to be. We walked from one end of the town all the way to the other end, which was the Basilica of St. Francis. So much history in this town and touring the churches was a moving experience for both of us. We sat for a long time in the Basilica and talked about our own things that God was calling us to, just like He called St. Francis to impact the church of his time.

The food in Assisi was also amazing! The only thing I didn't venture to eat was pigeon. Nope. Not gonna do it. That's like their chicken. In fact, there's not much chicken on any Italian menus. Lots of pork! Toward the end of our stay, I couldn't stomach one more bite of salami or prosciutto.

Truffles and truffle oil are specialties of Assisi in cooking. I had this pasta with truffles. It was good, but super heavy. I took half back with me to the apartment. I think this was my least favorite meal (and by least favorite, I mean lowest level of deliciousness) the only meal that kinda messed with my stomach because of the richness of the cream and the truffles.

Our last meal in Assisi was amazing ... one of my favorites! Charcuterie, a type of Chicken Cacciatore (yes, I FINALLY found chicken!), steak with a balsamic vinaigrette, peppers and veggies, panna cotta, and, you know it ... tiramisu!

Two more posts and I think that'll cover it for this trip.