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17 January, 1999

I missed a few days in here, but I had a great weekend.  On Thursday night, we had a great dinner with the group at a very good and less casual restaurant than before.
On Friday, we took a trip to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower.  It was pretty much a tourist trap and there was not that much "wonder to behold."  It is preserved with steel cables and has become hard to see in its original form.  I'm glad that it was only a one-day school trip.

Saturday, it was off to Assisi, home of St. Francis.  We took the train there and it took about two hours.  When we arrived, I looked into the hills to see the city floating above the clouds.  We took a town bus to the top of the mountain and we began to explore the town.  It was amazing to think that we were walking on the same hilly streets and climbing the same steep steps that so many, centuries before us, had.  We ended up meandering out of the city and along the mountainside overlooking a beautiful wooded valley.  We found ourselves out of the way about a half-mile, but no one seemed to care because of the beautiful landscapes we were able to see.  The people there were, of course, very nice and everyone seemed to be very relaxed.  And with all those steep hills, they were very fit.

The time for lunch came up after touring the Cathedral of St. Francis.  However, there was nowhere open at 2pm when we were hungry.  We hunted around the whole village for a restaurant, pizzeria,. . . anything at all!!  But nothing.  We finally found a deli and asked the owner if he could prepare some sandwiches for us.   Luckily, he did and it was the best "Italian deli" sub that I have ever had.  I need to get used to the odd (different) hours here.

Today was mostly studying, but we had a great dinner at Actor's Bistro, a Hollywood themed pizzeria just a block from the Duomo.  Of course, the best was the gelato from Gelateria La Pergola, on Via degli Alfani.  Maybe some more tomorrow!  Mmmmm!


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