We had no idea what Assisi had in store for us, but let me tell you, the scenery was gorgeous, the flowers were beyond colorful, and the weather was perfect. We started the day off early with a bus ride to Assisi where we traveled up some steep hills. Today was one of my top favorite days of the entire trip. I don’t know why I loved it so much, I just loved being in Assisi even though it was a small town. I think I just liked the openness of it and how it was not filled with tourists. The vibe was so welcoming too.
The day in Assisi started with a lecture at the Basilica de San Francesco. The church was dedicated to Saint Francis Bernardone where his purpose to was to expand the spiritual enfranchisement of Christianity during the Roman Catholic church era. The church was filled with beautiful paintings of his life. Also, it is the home of where Saint Francis is buried. People of the Franciscan travel near and far to come to pay respect and pray to Saint Francis. Up on the top floor of the church, a series of paintings along the entire walls displays Saint Francis’s story where he receives a sign from a cross to rebuild the churches while receiving a physical presence from God himself.
After our lecture, we roamed around the city walking up and down some huge hills where we ran into a man from New York. He was telling us about his life story and what not to do when traveling abroad and I respect the advice he gave us a lot. He suggested us to not go to any “magnetic stores.” What he meant by this is to not shop around the souvenir based stores, but instead, seek the stores with genuine items from that country that you cannot get anywhere else. This will bring out the authenticity of the item you are getting. He stressed the importance of supporting the locals instead of those who are targeting tourists because then it will help you realize and see the true culture of the country you are in. This life lesson from this stranger stood out to me. We should appreciate the true culture in its entirety instead of heightening the mainstream culture and perspective of that country.