Day 7 – Wednesday, May 30th

In the ancient world they said all roads lead to Rome, and today ours did too.  After another hotel breakfast we made the long walk down the hill to our bus and departed around 8:15 a.m. After about a 3 hour drive, we stopped for the afternoon in Assisi, the home of St. Francis of Assisi.  It was raining when we arrived and looked to be challenging day.

Assis was another well-preserved medieval town, with Roman remnants.  We toured the remains of a Roman forum under a church (which had used the ancient Roman columns for its façade).  It was interesting to see the excavated ruins down under ground.

We then walked down to the far end of the town where we visited the Basilica of St. Francis and St. Francis’ tomb.  On the way there was a French bulldog lounging in the sun in a doorway  (it had stopped raining).  Judy asked the proprietor if he was friendly and he assured her it was, so she sat down, woke the dog up, and gave it some pets.  He was very happy to get the attention, and didn’t want to see Judy leave.  Judy got her doggy fix.  The Basilica was another massive cathedral – no photos were allowed inside, but I did get one on the upper level before we saw the signs.

After viewing the basilica, we walked towards our bus and stopped to sit with some of our fellow travelers and have a drink.  By shortly after 3:00 we were back on the road and headed to Rome.  When we arrived in Rome, we drove around the Colosseum and Forum before getting to our bus drop which was about three blocks from the hotel.  It was somewhat of a tense unloading as it was in the midst of massive traffic.  But we successfully got our whole group and all the luggage to the hotel, the Hotel Delle Nazioni, where our room is on the 4th floor – no veranda or view this time (unless an alley-way and brick building is a view).

At 7:30 we all were together for a group meal – another one of those four course deals with an “anti-pasto” – this time ham with a huge ball of mozzarella cheese; a tube pasta (?); a main course of lamb and potatoes; and a coffee / chocolate cream desert (?).  Each serving was more than we could eat.  Of course we also had some white wine (or red if you desired).  It was 10:00 by the time we were done, but we weren’t yet done. 

Some had decided to go see the Trevi Fountain – supposed to be spectacular at night – so we tagged along.  It was a beautiful fountain, but there was a mob of people – luckily it was only a block from our hotel.  We took the obligatory picture and then returned to the hotel.

My initial impression of Rome is that it is worse than Paris for crowd and noise.  But if you want to see it, this is your only option.  It was a late night and fortunately we don’t have an early call in the morning – we have until 9:30 when Pastor Brown is leading anybody who cares to join him to see some of the sights around the hotel (including the Trevi Fountain).  So on this night it is to bed with no alarm set.  Tomorrow we see Rome.

P.S. – Judy chipped a tooth at dinner!

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