This photo was taken in October, 1996 and is a scan from a photo I took in Assissi. You can see the little shrine in the side of the building. You can see more detail if you click on the photo to see a larger version. There’s the remnants of a wall painting around the shrine and there’s a little souvenir shop under it. As you can tell it was a rainy day.
Assissi is an Italian hill town and is associated with St. Francis of Assissi. There is a wonderful cathedral, called a duomo in Italy. It’s got an upper cathedral and a lower one. The upper one is filled with amazing frescos and is light and airy. The lower chapel has low arched ceilings and even older frescos on the walls, still with rich colours. There’s no photos allowed inside as is the case in many Italian churches. We toured through the church and bought a few postcards in a gift shop staffed with monks in long brown robes tied at the waist, I want to say with ropes but probably it was a nice cord style tie belt.
We walked in the town a little and had just come down this hill when I saw the shrine and took the photo. Shortly after that the rain came down in buckets and we all huddled under umbrellas while we waited for the tour bus. In fact, that first week on the tour around Italy, it rained every day. The sun didn’t come out until Sorrento and even then, it rained the day we went to Capri for the day.It rained on the ferry over to the Island and we were bussed up into the town. It drizzled a bit while we walked around looking at the expensive shops and restaurants and admired the villas, all painted in pastel shades. We were then bussed up the side of the mountain to Anacapri where we toured Villa Michele and had a bite to eat in a cafe on the main square. Some of us paid to go up the side of the cliff on a little chair lift to a lookout spot but when we got up there, we had to stay longer than expected because there was a thunderstorm approaching.
We could see it out over the Bay of Naples and watched it move towards the island and cross over though it never rained at all up where we were. It was strange! They deemed it safe to go back down so we sat in this little chair lifts, surrounded by metal, just after a thunder and lightening storm. Yes, I can tell you it was a long 15 minutes down the slope! It also started to rain so I opened up my umbrella. There’s a photo of me somewhere that my friend in the chair behind me took. I thought I’d scanned it but I can’t find it now.
My friend and I took Italian lessons the winter before we went on the tour and I managed to be able to ask how much things cost and figure out a menu mostly. Most of the Italians that I tried to speak to in their language answered me straight back in English. I expect they appreciated the effort at least and they didn’t seem annoyed so I guess they were more appreciative of my money!
I haven’t brushed up my Italian for my upcoming holiday in Rome but I can at least remember how to say please and thank you, and “toilet” is pretty much the same as in French so I should have all bases covered.