Seeking St Francis of Assisi

Updated: Jan 28, 2020

I completed a walk of 8 consecutive days from Greccio to Assisi (think St Francis) in Umbria central Italy. It was a pretty good walk through attractive hilly country with quite a bit of up and down.

Rugged country

Viaduct at Spoleto

The last day was 23k with a 950 metre climb then a descent coming finally to Assisi far below. I was well and truly pooped when I got there.

View to Assisi

On the way were the Marmore falls which were/are on the Grand Tour - no less than Lord Byron was here.

Marmore Falls

The falls ("cascata") were created by a river diversion made by the Romans and since the 1920s further diversions drive a hydroelectric plant.

Also on the way was the small but very interesting Mummy Museum (photos not allowed) at Ferentillo. As with everywhere he invaded, Napoleon shook the place up. One edict required the dead to be buried outside the town walls and further that the already dead and buried had to be moved outside the walls as well. The exhumations at Ferentillo revealed that the bodies had not decayed but mummified - and being very well preserved they have since been much studied. The extent of preserved detail is macabrely fascinating.

And also in Ferentillo, this house ornament of a fanged duck seethes with malevolence.

Fanged duck

Several villages on, I stopped for coffee in a typical small village shop which serves as a bar, meeting place, coffee/cake/lolly shop, newsagent, tabachi and other miscellany. I never knew that chewing gum came in hamburger flavour - and with ketchup!! I didn't have the courage to try it - sin free though it claimed to be.

Hamburger chewing gum

In Assisi itself there were lots of chaps in Friar Tuck outfits. I didn't stay as long as I should or would have liked. It is very well preserved and there looked to be plenty of interest beyond the usual tourist stuff. Another day.

And I did like this manhole cover.

Assisi manhole cover


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