Assisi and the Italian Countryside

Green hills rolling over purple mountains, with trees creating a barrier around property. Grape vines run through small and large vineyards, old and new buildings surrounding, all overlooking their agricultural business. The jungle of trees bow down to the mountains, as they bow down to the sun. The sunlight finds its way, seeping through the cracks of each and every branch. The bodies of water sparkle in the sunlight, as the reflection of trees are seen on the edges of the rivers. This is what I was lucky enough to get to see while driving to Assisi. Spotting the walled city from far away is amazing, but once you see it up close, you really feel like you were living during the time of St. Francis of Assisi. The tiny, steep, up and down hill streets are packed with shops, and greenery and plants are everywhere. The church was absolutely beautiful; I thought it was the coolest thing how there were three levels of the church, or three churches put into one. The underground layer was a crypt of St. Francis. The second, or ground level, was the church part of where mass would be held, with paintings depicting the life of St. Francis throughout his life on the walls. The top level was another small chapel, which also lead outside. When you leave the ground level on the opposite side of the entrance, you walk out to a big open field of grass, with a statue of a wounded St. Francis riding his horse back from battle. In the middle of the grass there are plants spelling out the letters F, A, X. We walked to the other side of Assisi to visit the church of St. Claire, which was incredible and surreal. We also got the opportunity to see her body intact. Driving home through the countryside one last time made me realize we really were leaving our pilgrimage study trip, but I am so glad I came. I have learned so much more about the person who I am and the people around me, as well as my relationship with God as of now, and I know what I still need to do and how I can do it.

Regina

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