I’m slowly making my way through my Italy photos, cropping and fixing contrast. It’s taking a little longer than I’d like it to, but I’ve made it to nearly the halfway point of the trip. That means I can tell you all about Assisi! Our overnight in Assisi was one of my favorite parts of the entire trip. I had been there before, on my choir tour to Italy in college, when we’d stopped in town for a day before staying at a country house about forty-five minutes away.
For this visit, we took the train from Rome to Assisi (with a quick train change near the end of the journey) and then took the bus up to the top of the hill to our hotel. Hotel Ideale was highly rated on TripAdvisor and conveniently located right near the bus stop. There’s a parking lot there, too, if you’re ever nearby with a car.
Hotel Ideale is a small hotel. The rooms are neat and simply furnished, which highlights the most important feature: the view. Our room was on the third floor, which was a little annoying when we were carrying bags up and down the stairs, but totally worth it once we stepped out onto the balcony.
We arrived early in the afternoon and it took a little prodding to get us to leave the hotel room. I mean, a visit to Assisi and a stay at this hotel would be worth it for the view alone! But finally we did meander downhill, stopping in La Cattedrale di San Rufino before continuing down to the Piazza Comune to have a late lunch.
From there we followed the signs across town, still downhill, to the Basilica di San Francesco. It was a lovely walk, and the Basilica – both the upper and lower – were lovely, too. The frescoes are stunning and tell stories from the lives of St. Francis and Jesus. In the lower basilica, you can visit the crypt where St. Francis is buried. A little creepy, but the history is fascinating since it was only excavated in the last hundred or so years to prove he was actually buried there.
After we visited the Basilica, we got some gelato and caught a bus back up the hill to our hotel. The next morning we ate breakfast on the hotel’s patio, enjoying the view, before heading back to the train station. I’m so glad we got to visit, and I hope I get to go back soon and explore more!