Thursday, June 25, 2015

Views of Assisi

Welcome to Assisi, a hilltop town in the region of Umbria, and perhaps mostly famous in history as the birthplace of Saint Francis and the Franciscan religion order.  Here is where our two week trip to Italy began, and although it may not have been the bustling sister city of Perugia, it did offer lots of charm and good food.
As most painters in history who've been drawn by Italy and it's beauty, I truly thought I was in heaven, and painting both in Assisi and Cortona was a dream come true.  Vistas and inspiration was all around, sometimes a little too much, making it hard to decide on what to paint.
When you least expect it, you get hit with another grand view, such as this one.  This image was taken form the "secret garden" restaurant La Fontanella, owned by gracious hostess Franca.  Tucked away in one of Assisi's little streets, away from the main squares, this restaurant provided the magic one can always expect from Italy. Can you imagine having dinner with this backdrop as the sun goes down?
Although Assisi is, like most Italian towns, beautiful, I did find it to be a little sleepy, and this is perhaps because of it's religious history.  Most visitors come here on a religious pilgrimage, and if they are not, they are still most likely doing a tour of the sites that were a part of Saint Francis.
As in any hill town, walking the streets can be challenging, lots of uphills or downhills which can take a toll on your legs.  But for those like a little challenge, you can always walk up to Rocca Magiore, a medieval castle that sits at the highest point of the town. This castle is open to the public as a museum, where you can experience life as they did in the eleven hundreds. Remember to always bring a good pair of walking shoes!
The views don't end, this one was taken from the garden of Saint Anthony's Guest House, the place our group of artists and art lovers stayed in for the week. The sisters are lovely people, and they will always greet you with a huge smile. Just make sure to "re-enter" the premises by 11 pm, or else!
Did I mention the views? This one is taken from the main street you walk up when entering Assisi through it's grand stone portals.  On the first day of my stay there this is the spot where I executed my first painting.  I think out of all the paintings I did in Italy, that one was my favorite. I will show and tell soon.
"The hills are alive with the sound of music!" Yes, I did have a little Froilan Maria moment while checking out the surrounding hills from Rocca Magiore.
To sum it up, I had a relaxing and enjoyable stay in Assisi, and the food I must say was incredible.  I will be sharing some food porn shots soon and you will see what I'm talking about.

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