December 15, 2013 – Perugia and Assisi

We leave Ravenna under a blanket of fog which clears as we drive inland. We’ve decided to make an extra stop in Perugia. High on a hilltop, the city is a swarm of tiny streets up to the main city square. John negotiates the driving well and we find a sort of parking space – definitely not legal but okay in Italy.

Main square in Perugia
Main square in Perugia

We find the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria not too far away and spend an enjoyable 1 1/2 hours viewing their extensive collection of early Renaissance art. They have the most 13th century paintings we have seen anywhere. And there are, of course, many paintings by the city’s namesake, Perugino. Perugino paints with expressionless faces. Sad that Christ has died? No expression. Angry about the crucifixion? No expression. Apparently he wanted the viewer to express their own emotions while contemplating his paintings.

Perugino Coronation
Perugino Coronation

After a quick stop for a slice of pizza, we are on our way to Assisi. We arrive around 3:45 but it is 5:15 before we are in our hotel. First we try to find the hotel to drop off our luggage before parking the car down in the car park. John and Sarah both search in opposite directions on foot but no luck. Then we drive and park at the wrong parking area, take the elevator to the wrong floor and have to walk dragging our luggage across Assisi and mostly down hills.

Perugia pizza man
Perugia pizza man

Approaching Assisi
Approaching Assisi

Our room (on the third floor, no elevator) is cell-like which seems apt. We Skype with Jon and family and I am so happy to see them. Nathan and Sam are excited about Christmas. Nathan says he expects he will get about 400 Lego kits. Sam shows us his figure that he got today from their Lego Advent calendar.

Sarah takes a walk in the quiet streets of Assisi and then we meet for dinner. Unusually, it was mostly successful. Tomorrow we visit the double basilica of San Francesco. Can’t wait!

John and Sarah discuss Renaissance art
John and Sarah discuss Renaissance art

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