Above; An 'Ape'. We saw lots of these little 'utes' in Italy, Three wheelers, easy to navigate the narrow winding streets.
tues May 4 Assisi, Monte Cassino
We start this day with a visit to the Basilica of St. Francis with its famous paintings by Giotto dating back to the 1300’s. These frescoes depict the life of St. Francis.
What struck me about these artworks was the astounding colours especially the cobalt blues. They were so vibrant, like they had been painted yesterday.
We couldn’t take photos which of course, helps protect these priceless pieces.
Next we set off for Monte Cassino where we visited the Benedictine Abbey.
The Abbey rises 1700 feet above sea level.
It was founded in 529AD by St Benedict and it became the home of the catholic order of Benedictine monks.
It was destroyed by the Allies during WWII due to its strategic position.
When we jumped off the coach to head towards the Abbey entrance, on our left there were some huge iron gates, behind which were two beautiful German shepherd dogs, we headed over to say 'hello' along with another couple, German shepherd owners like us.
I didn't take long for us to 'win' the dogs trust but as they moved around we noticed both dogs were crippled- their legs were deformed, probably due to inbreeding.
We were so saddened to see these beautiful, intelligent animals in this sad state.
Anyway eventually, we said goodbye and left the gates and headed up the cobbled drive way to the Abbey entrance.
It is indeed a beautiful place and has a majestic atmosphere.
Ian headed in another direction, up the steep steps further into the centre of the Abbey grounds while I approached the ancient archways that looked out over the valley below.
Green hills, grape vines. fruit trees and a delightful little river meander through the long grass.
As I looked down upon this delightful scene my heart missed a beat-there running through the long grass between the grape vines were the two dogs!
They were chasing each other, rolling in the grass and generally having a carefree, happy time.
I suddenly realized that they must have been taken in by the Abbey monks because the dogs were crippled!
I stayed for ages just watching them play - it made my day.
I’m such a big softy when it comes to animals and hate to think of them suffering.
We explore a bit longer, more photos of course.
From there we then head to Naples for a 3 night stay.
Naples was Pasquali's home so he was very excited about seeing his girlfriend and his Mum.
Naples was an unusual place.
As we approached the area we could see Mt Vesuvius looming in the distance, and on our right, nothing but high rise apartments.
Washing was hanging from the balconies.
We didn't see any houses, just these apartments.
The strange black soil of the area, due to the volcanic activity, was so rich that the lemons grew to the size of a football.
The Bay of Naples is beautiful- such an unusual place. Italy's ‘most colourful city’.
The roads were very busy and there were kids playing Soccer in the traffic! Apparently that's very common as they are soccer mad, having produced the soccer stars Paolo & Fabio Cannavaro among others.
Well, more tomorrow, stay tuned!