Italy Journal: Week 2 - Assisi and Firenze


Technically, we started the day in Rome, but we left at 8:30 in the morning. Assisi is beautiful. It's a little mountain town with an amazing view and streets that go up and down, moving with the hillside. Our hotel was very small, but nice. Our room was cold and the bathroom was warm. We dispersed for lunch and returned to the square in front of the hotel for our tour. The guide's name was Francesco like St. Francis and had a great sense of humour. His catchphrase was "am I clear?" It was very surreal to see St. Francis' tomb. I got tears in my eyes. Learning more about him and what he stood for has given me new resolve for what I want to do in my life. Not with my life - I'm called to write, I know that - but what else I'm going to do. I've wanted to study other languages for a while, and now I will have the time. I'll probably pick up French again eventually, but I really want to learn Korean. Not just because I love k-pop. I think it's a beautiful language. And I've wanted to learn an Asian language for a long time, even while I was learning French or Spanish.
I walked around with a few different groups through the streets. The shops had a variety of souvenirs and odd items. I got an indigo quill pen with a pretty silver handle. For dinner, I had penne with truffle oil. It was so good.


We had free time in the morning so I wandered and shopped a bit, but my back was being grumpy so I spent the last 1-2 hours in the hotel reading and drinking coffee. We left Assisi at noon and had lunch at an olive mill. Oh, the food was so good. I ate so much bruschetta. I went outside to rest a little bit because I get full so easily and I made friends with a cat. I snuck her a couple pieces of meat from the soup. I wish we could've had time to go to Milan. I have wanted to see Leonardo's horse since I was little. Someday. Someday.


Our first day in Florence/Firenze was an easy day. It was Sunday, so we had a short service in the chapel of Villa Morghen. This place used to be a Benedictine monastery, so it has that feel. Also, the power has gone out twice for a short while. Anyway, we had a lazy afternoon. Some folks went for a hike, but I was getting a cold so I stayed behind. Esther is a great roommate. We're both quiet and do our own thing. The food is really good here. Pasta, pasta, pasta!


We had class this morning, which was kind of weird. I woke up with a sore throat, but I pushed through. We did a *short* walking tour of Florence in the afternoon. I walked more slowly than most, but still was okay. We had to walk up a long fight of stairs and that was the only bad part. I went to the market with peeps and got back to the villa at 6. It was weird to submit summaries again. I stayed up too late, but got a relatively good amount of sleep.


After class in the morning, we went and visited the Duomo. Aside from the beautiful paintings in the dome itself, the ceiling and everything else was rather plain. The outside is spectacular with green, white, and pink marble and carvings and statues and intricate details over the whole thing. It's really beautiful. Then our glorious leader decided that we would climb the belltower. Oh yes, THAT was fun. 460 steps! I got to the top and was literally gasping for breath. Micah was a great encourager on the way up and he and Joel and Jon were really sweet and caring and concerned. I really appreciated it. When I told Jon I wasn't asthmatic, he was like, "oh thank God!" He kept saying, "deep breaths, deep breaths" and Joel was like "she can't take deep breaths yet, she's still in shock!" and then I said I felt really light-headed and sat down really quickly. Jon took my stuff for me on the way back down. I came out at the bottom staggering like a drunk person and Yana gave me a piggyback ride.
Then we all spent some time in the Baptistry. The ceiling is amazing. It's all mosaics with stories from the bible and there's so much gold! The details are incredible.
Emily and I wandered together after that, bought some stuff and got home at almost 7, which was the latest I'd gotten back so far. I stayed up kinda late again, writing a summary and then watching ASMR videos.


This was a class day. As per usual, the discussion got turned around and I got frustrated. We were walking about truth and art, but somehow we always move into a different area and I just kept my mouth shut because what I say never makes any difference. (okay sometimes it does, but I was just annoyed) After class we had free time,but I didn't go into town. I should've done hw, but I immersed myself into k-pop and didn't come up for air.


Thanksgiving! I slept a lot. The staff made us a traditional dinner and we had a thankful time afterward. It was really good. I signed "Wherever You Go" and we sang worship songs. Miss Jean gave a little talk about gratitude and I recorded it. All in all, a good day.