Assisi 3Assisi is a beautiful village clinging to the western side of Monte Subasio. Steep and long winding narrow streets (a common feature of so many villages) carve through the village dipping off into cave-like crevices, reaching up into geranium lit alleyways, with no 2 houses identifying as siblings. Our home was unique, with its stairway leaning off the side of the house. Inside, we climbed to our room up curved stairs with village paintings framed in small apertures, and ventured further up to the sitting room in a tower with 360 degree views.

It was difficult to leave our romantic haven, where it was not out of place to re-enact a scene from Willeo and Corriet from a street in Assisi to the window high above. It didn’t matter that Corrie was a little shy, the American photographer wasn’t leaving until she appeared. He seemed as happy as I was when the difficult actress appeared for the scene.

A long trail out of town up into higher parts of the mountain showed our bodies had not yet forgotten what they have been used to doing for the last 6 weeks – in fact, the 4km climb got rid of a few “resting” aches and pains. In the mountain fog we found the cave where young St Francis (who tried to stop the crusades) used to go to find silence and be in the company of animals which he adored.

Assisi 4Magnificent broken frescoes covered the walls of some holy places, with imitations hanging from the walls of local houses and shops. We talked to an English couple from York (at breakfast or afternoon tea at home) who were there for a week just to look at the paintings. We never discovered their intense interest in these or why he was the only person in Italy wearing a bow tie!

A cold morning fog accompanied us to the bus stop – outside the highly preserved old city. On the way down Corrie showed me the houses with a small and a large door. The large one was the entrance for live people while the small one was only used for the exit of the dead ones and I’m not sure why.

On the packed train we didn’t have our usual 4 seats but had to share; after all it was Florence we were heading to. Our 2 guests – we were there well before them – were a middle aged Canadian couple who were walkers like us, so we swapped stories about our adventures. After hearing our interest in Canada, he said – why would you want to go there? Maybe that is why we see so many of them travelling!