Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Treasures of Umbria


This weekend our class took a trip to the region of Umbria, visiting Assisi, Norcia, and Perugia.

Assisi, Italy. 

Home of St. Francis: The Man, The Myth, The Legend. (No but seriously, he's the man)
First church we stopped in was a "pre-Franciscan" Church in Assisi dedicated to St. Peter. Before St. Francis the Crucifix did not reflect the pain and suffering that Jesus went through. Also, churches were built to that the altar space was much higher than the knave. This was to represent the distance between the lay people and the religious. Because of St. Francis all of that changed. Jesus' suffering was portrayed as a reminder of his humanity, and less emphasis was put on the separation between laity and the religious because he saw Christ equally in all those he met. 
Side note: Crazy to think that St. Francis probably went to Mass here with his parents! 

The Basilica of St. Francis. It is three churches built on top of one another! They were setting up all the chairs in front for a big conference they were having that night where the Italian President was going to speak to lots of important people. 

The doors to the lower church. 

The doors leading into the upper church. I like doors.

The front of the Basilica. The amazing lawn out front made me want to go golfing... no just kidding, that's what my dad would say. But it did seem to be begging for a few picnickers!

Eating our lunch in the piazza with Cabrini and Kendra. I feel so lucky to be traveling with so many amazing people!

There was a large street market crowding the normally quiet streets of Assisi. One of the stands had these little puppies! They were just too cute to pass! I'm pretty sure I could take him home, right?

After strolling the streets of Assisi we took a hike down to the little church that St. Francis built at God's bidding, San Damiano. No pictures of the inside are available because... well, because I'm a rule follower :)

This corner in the convent above the San Damiano church was where St. Claire died. St. Clare, Pray for us! It was a beautiful church, you will just have to take my word for it.

St. Francis' Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon. It was written in Italian, "the people's tongue" so that all could give praise to God. St. Francis gave it to the sisters living in the convent at San Damiano.

A peaceful outdoor chapel in the courtyard of San Damiano.
Hiking to San Damiano. Coming up was even more fun! 

the next day we headed to


The Birthplace of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica. 

This place had a special place in our hearts because of its connection with the patron saint of our school. We are proud Benedictine Ravens :)
The fog was really heavy when we arrived. You can't tell but just on the other side of this cloud cover are many hills surrounding the town.

Then we headed into town center. 
In this old Roman town square there were two Catholic churches, the first one, the Cathedral in Norcia dedicated to  the Blessed Mother, the second, a Basilica dedicated to Sts. Benedict and Scholastica as it is said to be built on their birthplace. Two very impressive buildings for a humble little town.


Me, getting a little artsy in the Chapel of St. Benedict.

The chapel under the Basilica to Sts. Benedict and Scholastica.

The diamond cut stones in this wall are remains of the walls that the Romans built when this town was built. They would have been here before the time that Benedict was born, cerca 480 A.D.. That's over 1500 years ago! So old.

There were tons of beautiful balconies on every house. Loved walking through the old quiet streets. Picture photobombed ;) Good one Mark.

This little chocolate shop in Norcia posted the "Bestest Chocolate of the World!" Note to self, stay away from GoogleTranslate next time. I tried the chocolate, its claim is under speculation. I wasn't convinced. 

Cabrini and I wandering the streets of Norcia. We made great bus buddies.

A classic Fiat 500 that Francesco, our tour guide and teacher, insisted we take a minute to appreciate. It is a rather cute car. 

So long Norcia! It was great getting to know you! Sts. Benedict and Scholastica, Pray for us!

Saturday came and went and on Sunday we got up for a tour of...


 Just Perugia.

This is an ancient Etruscan arch possibly from the 3rd century BC, that was preserved by the Romans. Crazy to think of all the people in centuries past that have walked through this arch. I'm just one of many.

On our way to Perugia we stopped to see this amazing view of Il Piano Grande, The Great Plane. 

Doesn't this just make you want to frolick? That's just what I did! The afternoon on the mountain top was not complete with my fair share of frolicking. 

Queen of the world! And in case you were wondering, no I'm not wearing capris. The wind just made my skirt look like shorts. Awkward. 

Happy campers. After seeing a lot of churches and cities, Kendra and I were happy to be surrounded by God's beautiful creation.

Maddie, Annie and I soaking in God's glory! 

More beauty...

Carriage rides on Il Piano Grande.

The biggest stain-glass window in Italy in San Domenico's Church in Perugia. The rest of the church was very stark and bare. This window was the focal point of the entire church.

Tomb stone of Marcus Aurelius, the emporer in Gladiator. Pretty neat.

An old car show going through Perugia. The city was all a bustle this Sunday afternoon.

The oldest thing in Perugia is this fountain that displayed the Romans accomplishment of bringing water from the valley, up the hill to the city center.  

Francesco was our fearless guide and witty professor the whole weekend. Good times with Francesco.

The view from the hilltop of Perugia.

And that my friends is the picture story of my weekend. I hope you enjoyed. 

To all my family and friends back home: I miss you all very much. I can't believe that I'll be in the States in 6 weeks! Time goes by so fast, yet so slow at the same time. God is doing a lot in my heart right now. I'm so grateful for His love and grace in my life. 

p.s. As I'm writing this my eyes are getting heavy, so please forgive any bad grammar or corny jokes. The bad grammar is due to need of sleep. The corny jokes have no excuse. Forgive them anyway.

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