Umbria (Assisi and Spello)

24 Jul

IMG_9924As some of you may know a few weeks ago we spent a week in the gorgeous region of Umbria.  It was mostly a week of hanging out at the pool with family but we did manage to fit in a few visits to some nearby towns.  Umbria, in general, has the beautiful landscapes of Tuscany but without the masses of tourists (although this region is slowly becoming more and more popular).

Here are a few images of our visit to the towns of Assisi and Spello.

IMG_9915The views of Assisi as you’re driving up from the motorway are absolutely stunning with the monochrome coloured buildings and the impressive Basilica.

IMG_9917We were pleasantly surprised how easy it was to drive up into town and park at the ultra modern multi-floor underground parking lot.  Apparently Assisi is one of the top places to visit in Umbria and is known to be FULL of tourists throughout the entire year.  We were lucky to visit it in the morning before the big busloads of tourists arrived (and before the sun got too scorchingly hot to walk around).

IMG_9927Walking through the narrow cobblestone streets of Assisi you run into nuns,priests and monks visiting from all over the world.  We were all quite impressed with the emotion a lot of people felt as they visited Assisi.  There were people in tears, in deep prayer and in awe of actually visiting a place that obviously meant so much to them spiritually.IMG_9938In addition to the impressive architecture to be found throughout the small town there are also stunning views over the Umbrian landscape to admire.  IMG_9936Sneaking a peek at the priests in the lower courtyard.  As you walk through the basilica grounds there are priests stationed around to talk to visitors (an experimental initiative by the church). We had a lovely chat with a Venetian priest (in training) about his experiences in Assisi and his background which involved a PhD in mathematics.  He was open and friendly and open to questions of any sort.  
Another impressive basilica as you come into Assisi.  It was here that we saw a nun speaking on her mobile in the church (which clearly asks NO mobile phones to be used in the church).  The kids thought that was pretty hilarious.
And of course there are lots of shops to deck yourself out in the newest fashions in the Catholic world.  And not at a cheap price too (the robe on the right was close to 1000euro).IMG_9959After visiting Assisi we took some advice from a local to drive an extra 15 minutes to the nearby town of Spello.  He said it was the ideal place for a quiet walk and lunch away from the pilgrimage crowds of Assisi.  And I have to admit that it was one of our favourite places in Umbria.

This picturesque little town is full of flower embellished courtyards.  Every year there is a famous flower festival including competition amongst the inhabitants for the most beautifully decorated lanes and entryways (with flowers of every colour and kind included).  After a delicious lunch (zucchini flower pasta) we lazily strolled through the little town and admired the medieval buildings, Romanesque walls and stone archways.  Pretty much a little fairytale village.


8 Responses to “Umbria (Assisi and Spello)”

  1. grammao July 24, 2013 at 18:18 #

    how beAUTIFUL – put it my list of where to go on my next visit.

  2. giova brusa July 26, 2013 at 10:31 #

    Sooo beautiful!! I went to Assisi when I was 8 and I still remember it. Must have caused an impression, and I wish to go back again, one of these days;)

  3. Judith July 27, 2013 at 01:28 #

    Me too, I visited Assisi when I was 17 and still remember it too. There’s something about this place beyond the many tourists. Although Spello looks even lovelier from your pictures!

  4. Michelle August 5, 2013 at 14:33 #

    I just returned from a year in Spello and your post brought tears to my eyes. How wonderful to once again see Marcello’s car parked in it’s usual spot, my favorite view from the alley of Il Trombone (where I hope you stopped for pizza), and Veronica the cat posing as she likes to do. I wrote and photographed all these extensively—and now I’m writing about reverse culture shock. What a shift.

    Thank you so much for this lovely post. It made me want to be back, though, that’s pretty much how I feel all the time. I’m so glad you had a rewarding visit to this town that has captured my heart.

    • Jillian in Italy August 5, 2013 at 20:57 #

      That’s so funny you know whose car that is and the cat’s name! I’m sure you had a beautiful year living in Spello. It really left an impression on me and I will definitely return in the future. And next time we’ll go to Il Trombone for pizza!

  5. le terre del verde April 12, 2014 at 10:17 #

    Reblogged this on blog.leterredelverde and commented:
    Assisi.. stupenda città che dista da noi solo 30 minuti.. per unire il gusto di una vacanza benessere, alla curiosità di scoprire incantati borghi medievali..


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