Today, seminary went to Assisi Italy. Assisi is about a 2 1/2-hour drive South of Rome. With a full house, we departed Sant’Anselmo at 7:30 this morning. Upon our arrival in Assisi, we had the opportunity to wander the town. I really like Assisi. The town is beautiful and reminds me of what I expected it will be to look like.
My only knowledge of what Italy should look like is from the TV show “Everybody Loves Raymond.” When I was growing up, I would spend my evenings at my grandmother’s house after school. I would typically have dinner there with her and my uncle. After the news was over, we would always watch “Seinfeld” and “Everybody Loves Raymond.” I remember the episode where they traveled to Italy. The town of Assisi reminds me a great deal of what I saw on that TV show, and what I and had expected to see upon arrival here.
We experienced the birthplace of Saint Francis as well as his childhood home. We had the opportunity to see the tomb Saint Francis and learn a bit of history about the town.
Rome is a very beautiful and ancient city, yet it is still like any other metropolitan area: it is a busy and bustling city with people trying to get to work, children trying to get to school, and normal people just trying to live their everyday lives. My trip to Assisi made me realize this today. The major difference between these two cities is that Assisi reminds me of the “old country”. The streets are lined with little shops, the people are friendly, the town is bright and warm and inviting. This is entirely different from the back alleys of Rome where it smells of garbage, the walls are full of graffiti, and it does not seem as inviting and welcoming.
I wish I would’ve had the opportunity to spend more time in Assisi. The town is gorgeous and has so many nifty little boutique shops. There is so much history in that town that I did not get to experience. Our time there was very special to me, and makes me wish I could go back soon.
To end our day in Assisi, we celebrated mass in the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. Father Matthew Lambert, a graduate of Saint Vincent Seminary, celebrated mass for us today as he joined us on our trip to Assisi. Once our mass was over, we had to scurry off to the bus for our three-hour drive home.
Tomorrow is our last free day in Italy. On Saturday, we will be getting ready to head home. This week has gone by so fast, and I hope I can come back soon. Tomorrow we will have mass at the stational church. Afterwards I will be spending most of my day with my classmate Dan Carr visiting the North American College here in Rome as well as doing some last-minute visits of Roman sites.
Thank you for your continued prayers for me and the rest of my group here in Rome. Please continue to pray for us as we prepare to return home shortly.