Saturday, November 10, 2007

In Umbria and Tuscany


I have an ambitious plan to see as many places in Umbria and Tuscany. I made Assisi my base to explore Perugia, Gubbio, and Spoleto. But after days of climbing uphill, my feet now feel like lead. At the end of the day, I sleep for long hours to rest my body and prepare it for another day of physical training.

Today I'm off to one more hilltown, Orvieto. It's a late start but now I've accepted the fact that I can't possibly see everything. Unless I stay overnight in each town, I can only cover so much. And perhaps have some time to savor the Norcia truffles which are the black gold of Italian cuisine.

There was a train strike yesterday so I spent the day exploring Firenze. As many times as I've visited this city, there are still more places I haven't yet seen. I chose to return to Santa Croce to see the Pazzi Chapel by Brunelleschi and was treated to a fresco of St. Francis by Giotto and a Crucifix by Cimabue. It was bitterly cold and luckily I found KOME, a Japanese restaurant off of Piazza Santa Croce. I was famished and ate a fortune in sushi, gamberi fry and chicken. It was well worth it.

From there I went to the basilica of San Lorenzo, the church of the Medicis. And here is a treasure trove of works by Donatello and Settignano.

On the way back it started to rain. That wasn't so bad but the lightning and thunder were worrisome. What a relief it was to be back in my hotel room and put my feet up and under covers! It felt good to have seen so much in a day and my feet held up to boot.

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Photo by Rosario Charie Albar

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