Wednesday, September 30, 2009

most eventful weekend ever

What a weekend! So much to say… well my Australian roommates (the older ones) and I decided to go to Assisi Saturday. It was definitely made to be because at work on Thursday I told my co-worker Cristi that I wanted to go to Assisi and so we spent an hour looking for trains and stuff. We weren’t finding anything so Cristi decided to call her friend Romina who lives about an hour away from Assisi to see if she knew any way to get there. Romina said that she was going to Perugia on Saturday and that she could take us with her! What a doll she was. Well she and I had a nice conversation about things. She said I would have to come out to her house someday. I was like heck yeah! When we got to Perugia, we decided to go to the photo booth and take a picture like little girls. As we were coming out of the booth this creepy guy came up and started perving on us, especially Christine. He was like, “oh you have my wife's eyes. She died so young.” We were all just like “oh ok. Well we have to catch our train so…” anyway, we got to Assisi safely. So the first thing we did was go to St. Francis’s Basilica. OH. MY. GOSH. It was incredible.
I took a ton of pictures outside, but INSIDE was just… I can’t even formulate an intelligent thought to describe the impact of the interior. As Rick Steves says, “the upper basilica is practically wallpapered with Giotto’s frescoes.” Frescoes I have seen now:

And more!!
Well after we went to the basilica, we did a little shopping. Then we realized that we were running out of time! I then proceeded to drag my mums around Assisi in search of more gorgeous cathedrals. We found them! We saw St. Claire’s cathedral

and San Rufino.

They were both stunning, but still St. Francis's was... well... better. Then we decided to head back to the train station to learn how in the world we were going to get home. No one was very helpful, but that’s ok! We ending up calling Romina again, and she said she would give us a ride again. She is the sweetest person I have ever met! We didn’t even know each other, and she was going to drop everything to give us a ride. Well we got everything arranged and we had another hour. There was one more church I wanted to see. Im really glad I did. It was Santa Maria degli Angeli. It was built in the 1700s so much more recent than the other cathedrals I had seen that day. It was built around the tiny church that St. Francis lived in. It was quite a remarkable sight.

Well finally we got on the train. We got off in Perugia, and guess what? The old guy that was perving on Chris was still there! Hahaha so we ran away as fast as we could. We shortly learned that we should have stayed on the train, and that we had two more hours until there was a train that would eventually get us to Siena (at 11 pm). We called Romina and told her not to worry about giving us a ride and decided to make the most of the time in Perugia. We took the bus to the historic center where there just happened to be a huge antique market. So of course I had to buy some earrings and a purse. We enjoyed the time in Perugia and finally got back to Siena.

Sunday I got up early again to get to church. Again the service was wonderful. Annie and another friend taught the RS lesson and they did a really great job. Sacrament meeting was the primary program. It was a full house and there were four kids in the primary (plus the two children of the BYU professor). After church Annie asked if I wanted to go to the Campo to sit outside. I said I did but I had to use the john first. When I got out, everyone was gone! Except Sarah was still there. So I asked if she wanted to go to Campo to meet up with them, and she did. Well no one was at the Campo and I had seen that Giulio was at his store, so Sarah and I said goodbye and I went in to talk to Giulio. When I walked in he did a double take, then he looked me right in the eyes and said, “Ilaria, come stai?” I bought a sandwich because I had forgotten my lunch. I went upstairs and ate and read for a little waiting for the lunchtime rush to die out. Half an hour later I went back downstairs. Here’s where it gets good. There was a full line but he came up to the counter and said “When are we going to see each other?” I said, “I don’t know. You tell me.” He asked how Wednesday was, then asked for my phone number. I gave it to him, then as I was leaving he yelled after me “I’m going to call you!” and I walked away (singing) very pleased, and ready to go to San Gimignano.

I got to the bus station and found my mums and told them about Giulio. We got onto the bus after a little confusion about which one to take. All the other students from Dante Aleghieri were under the same impressions as us: this was a tour of San Gimignano with the teachers from Dante. Well none of the teachers were there, and we quickly learned that this was a wine tasting tour. We first went to Monteriggioni, a medieval town. We spent 20 minutes there.

Then we went to a wine tasting. It felt like we were there for a year. I did eat some prosciutto and bread, and I smelled the wine (is that toeing the line? I dunno. I didn’t want to drink it, if that redeems me at all.) We had a nice conversation with a couple from Scotland.

Then we loaded back on the bus, and went to San Gimignano. By this time, we were getting a little cranky. The day was fading away and we hadn’t been to San Gimignano yet. Everyone from Dante had the same feelings. We finally got to San Gimignano.
We were given 50 MINUTES to see this city.

I was pretty mad. Chris, Julie and I contemplated taking a taxi back to Siena, but quickly we made the decision to make the most of the 50 minutes. We did go to the world’s best gelato shop.

And of course we did some shopping. I tried to find something of interest, but there just wasn’t time. After that we were herded back onto the bus, en route to another wine tasting. This place was gorgeous! But the thing is by this time it was dark and we all agreed that we should have come here earlier. It was this beautiful garden run by a family. It was a nice time, but again, I just ate the snacks and smelled the wine. I can’t believe I paid for this. Writing about it now, ex post facto, I’m getting angry again. Hahaha… well needless to say, I would have preferred to spend my Sunday in other ways, but quella è vita!
Today I learned about: how to properly taste wine
Today I adtmitted: that i am victim of the killers
Today I gave: my phone number to two different italian guys
Today I ate: the gelato from the celestial kingdom

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