Walking through Italy: Via Amerina, Part I – Globetrotter Girls

Author: , January 27th, 2017

Via Amerina - Dani

It was a special moment when I was handed my pilgrim’s pass in the Papal Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi – even though I am not religious. But it made it official: I would be walking along the Via Amerina, a historic pilgrim’s route, for the next six days, until we would reach Rome, the ultimate destination for a pilgrim.

Assisi is an important sacred place for pilgrims because St Francis, the founder of the Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land, and one of the most venerated religious figures in history, was born and died here. Several pilgrims’ trails start or pass through Assisi, inspired by the life and the travels of St Francis – most famously the St Francis Way, a 340 miles (550km) pilgrimage from Florence through Assisi to Rome through Central Italy, visiting key sites from the saint’s life.

The Via Amerina may include several spiritual sites, like churches and monasteries, but of course you don’t have to be religious to enjoy the walk through the Italian countryside. Just like on the Camino De Santiago, Spain’s famous pilgrim’s route, you find people of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds, and everyone is walking for a different reason. Some are at a crossroads in their life, looking for a sign of which way to take. Some are walking to process a dramatic event in their lives. Some are walking to focus on spiritual virtues, of course, and others walk simply because they enjoy walking.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

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Postcards From An Italian Adventure: Assisi in September

Author: , September 8th, 2010

Gay Friendly Tuscany Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Our dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on an extended adventure in Italy. She has graciously agreed to let us republish her travel logs. Enjoy!

Assisi, Italy

Wednesday, September 8th

Hi, everyone. No, I did not fall off the edge of the earth. Frank, along with our good friends, Ron and Jo Dufresne, arrived here in Florence 6 days ago, so we have been busy. They are trying to get over jet lag, and get re-oriented to Florence again.

Assisi, ItalyFriday we went to Assisi and spent one night. The first day was primarily spent visiting the Franciscan Basilica, and we found a lovely restaurant for lunch.

The evening turned cool and windy pretty early, so we did not walk around much at night. We were still so full from lunch, we just had a drink and snacks for our dinner and called it a day.

The following morning, the weather was gorgeous. We walked and walked, up hill and down dale, visiting churches, and just looking at the beautiful city. By the time we got on the train in the afternoon, we were 4 tired puppies!

Assisi, ItalyYesterday we visited the San Ambrogio Mercato, where we also had lunch, Then more walking. Of course, I had to take them to the OK Bar, and introduce them to my friends there.

Today we went to the Accademia Gallery, with David in all his glory. I never get tired of seeing that wonderful sculpture, as well as the unfinished “Slaves” or “Prisoners”, also by Michelangelo. He really did some beautiful work. I can just see the slaves trying to escape from the marble.

Tomorrow we go to Bolzano and on to Castelrotto in the Dolomites. We are keeping our fingers crossed for good weather. Rain is predicted for Thursday, but we are hoping the weather man will be wrong. I am really looking forward to going back there, and Frank, Ron and Jo are looking forward to seeing it for the first time.

Take care, and look for a blog post of our Dolomites trip about this time next week.

Ciao for now…

Dolly

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Postcards From An Italian Adventure – Assissi

Author: , May 31st, 2010

Our dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on an extended adventure in Italy. She has graciously agreed to let us republish her travel logs. Enjoy!

Assissi, ItalyTuesday, May 12th:

Buon giorno, tutti,

I will try to write this letter quickly before the server goes down again…I have been kicked off several times today, just trying to read my email… oh well, if all else fails, I might have to go to an internet cafe… me with my 2 computers, that are very nice, but we are at the mercy of the server.

Wednesday, we went, by train, to Assisi. Carmella did a good job of buying the tickets again. She is willing to get right out there and do it.

Sharona, who is probably more fluent than any of us, still holds back, and will not speak up unless she has to save me from disaster. Now as for myself, I am the least fluent, but I am always trying to speak.

Assisi, ItalyThe biggest insult though, came yesterday, when I was trying to speak to a waitress to get another mezzo liter of wine, and the waitress went to Carmella, for her to decipher what I was saying… I mean, mezzo liter a vino bianca is not that difficutl, but the waitress was trying to tell me I already had some, and she thought I wanted another mezzo liter just for myself, not for the 6 of us at the table. So Carmella saved us, I got the mezzo liter and the check… I had better start studying more!!

Despite the rain, we did get to the Basilica of Saint Francis without much trouble at all. There were not a lot of visitors, because of the weather. We then walked a bit around the town, as the rain would let up, then come down in buckets. Finally, at 5:00 p.m.I had to give it up. I went back to the hotel, covered myself in every blanket in the room and took a 45 minute nap. I was very cold…

Assissi, ItalyFortunately, the hotel also has a family-run ristorante, so we ate there that night, had very good food, and very good house wine.

Thursday morning, the sun came out, we had breakfast at the hotel, packed our bags, and the hotelier let us leave them there until we were ready to leave. So we took off, doing the Rick Steves self-guided tour. We went up to the top of the city, where the old amphitheater used to be, then wound our way down to the main part of the city again. We went into San Rufino church, which was the home church for Saint Francis and Sister Claire.

Mainly, we just walked through the town, admiring the old stone houses, and the many windows with flower boxes. Eventually, the rain was threatening again, so we decided to get to a covered outdoor cafe and get some coffee. I ducked into a deli next to the caffe, and soon, Carmella and Sharona came to get me. “You will never guess who is here!” they said. Well, first thing that came to mind was Rick Steves, but they said No…come and see for yourself.

Assisi, Italy - Carmella, Sharona, Franca and BellaThere was Franca and Ron Lingren, with a tour group. Franca was our teacher for Italiano Tre [in Sacramento, CA]. What a surprise. I knew she did tours, but had no idea that she would be in Assisi when we were. I am sending a picture of us (at left – from the right, Carmella, Sharona, Franca and Dolly). I first saw Ron, her husband, and he was absolutlely amazed, also.

Later, as we were waiting for our bus back to the train station, we got rained on again. This is no ordinary rain… first lightning, then thunder, the torrential rain for about 15 or 20 minutes… and it is cold.

Assisi, ItalyWhen we got back to Firenze, there was no rain, then, and our other compagne had returned from Sorrento. We made a dinner of strangozzi pasta, that we had bought in Assisi, with a great sauce of marinara, carciofi (artichokes), sundried tomatoes, and mushrooms. We roasted some veggies (carrots, fennel, onion) and had a green salad and one of our 4.40 Euro bottles of wine.

Today is Sharona’s birthday, so Susan decorated the apartment appropriately, and after breakfast, everyone except Cherie and me went to Boboli Gardens and the Pitti Palace. Cherie is sick so she went back to bed, I went to San Ambrogio market, then I came home, and made an apple tart for Sharona’s birthday cake. Tonight we are going to take her out to dinner. I have made chicken soup for Cherie, as she does not feel well enough to go out.

I hope the rain will stop soon. We are going to Cinque Terre on Monday for three nights. The forecast says good weather for us up there, but who knows. We just have to go anyway.

Keep in touch, and my apologies to all of you who have been kicked out of my categories. I cannot understand why this happens. My good friend and co-director of this tour, has been kicked off my list no less than 4 times. Hopefully, she will get this email, as she is sitting close enough to whack me on the head if she gets kicked off again.

Our love to all…

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