After experiencing the peaceful canals of Venice and carefree days of wandering through Florence and the Tuscan countryside, it is natural to think you should head straight to Rome to complete your tour of Italy. If you are able to, however, hold that thought and take a small detour to the sleepy little town of Assisi. Located in Umbria, it is home to the infamous Basilica de San Francesco. If you are seeking a cathedral that stands out from the crowd, then this is the place for you. The cathedral is actually comprised of two separate buildings on top of each other: the one on the bottom, which contains the tomb of St Francis, is older and adorned with frescos. The top of the cathedral juts out of the mountain in a dramatic display of beauty. Of course there are many other things to check out in this city, but if you are able to make it there on a short stop, you will be rewarded with a single visit to this cathedral.
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132 Kms from Assisi
(f) Rome, our last destination was in our head infamous because of the scammers and pick pocketers warnings that one reads about. However, Rome, pleasantly surprised us by proving all this wrong. We were told 'bus no. 62 to Vatican is an abode of pick pocketers. Keep your bags in front of you'. It was exactly in the same bus that we met an immigrant from Senegal who got us an early entry into Vatican through his tourist guide brother and didn't ask for a dime. All he said was 'Be safe, Sister'.
307 Kms from Assisi
Napoli football club's home stadium, Stadio Sao Paolo, has also earned a name for being ultra-notorious when it comes to supporting its team. Several minor casualties are reported after every match.Famous footballers to have played here: Diego Maradona, Gonzalo Higuain, Edinson Cavani, Gianfranco Zola, Fabio Cannavaro.Things to do apart from football: Witness an actual active volcano – Mt. Vesuvius. Attend an opera performance at San Carlo Theatre.Average expenditure per day per head: Rs. 4,000Book the best hotels.Read more about the city.
214 Kms from Assisi
My last destination within Italy was Venice, and I wanted do a brief pit stop somewhere before getting there. So bidding Florence goodbye, I headed for Bologna. Bologna is quite close to Florence and is well connected by train. It was Christmas eve and I didn't have elaborate plans, and Bologna seemed perfect.I lazily walked down the streets and walked into the cathedrals before reaching the foot of the Two Towers - Asinelli and Garisenda. It was quite surprising to learn that the Tower of Asinelli was the tallest leaning tower in Italy, much taller than the tower of Pisa (97 meters as compared to 56 meters).
172 Kms from Assisi
(b) When one talks of language barrier, Italy is the first point of reference and in Italy also, the Tuscany Region ranks number 1. Having said that, our maximum encounters with 'Humans of Europe' happened in Tuscany. One such was at a Farmer's market. My mother who is a local food enthusiast, on her own visited the Farmer's Market in Florence and returned with a bag full of local herbs, cheese and fruits. When we asked her how did you communicate with the Farmers (they only speak Italian and Spanish), she matter of fact replied 'With actions'. Also has learnt the recipe of local ravioli just through ACTIONS. The Italian farmers and my mother synced in so well that we had a dinner invite from a local farmer family and mother made made 'Dal Makhani' for them. The food at the dinner was what #foodgasm hashtag is for. The farmer's son who knew English, translated our conversation for them and their conversation for us. At the end, I felt as if I was sitting amongst my big, fat family from Punjab, giggling and laughing away to glory.
293 Kms from Assisi
Before leaving Treviso, I certainly fulfilled my promise to myself of going back to the places that I had visited on my first stroll through the city. Treviso fulfilled all my expectation of what Italian nightlife should be like. Crossing bridges across flowing waters and watching twilight change into evening in the city was a magnificent experience. In the evening we saw some tango dancers on the roads and despite being close to midnight the piazza was teeming with people having fun.
321 Kms from Assisi
Day 13: Check out of Hotel Castello Vicchiomaggio in Chianti. Take bus/car from Chianti to Florence. Take train from Florence to Verona. Check in Hotel Giulietta e Romeo in Verona. Opera at Arena - Romeo and Juliet was magnificent; get seats closest to the stage
259 Kms from Assisi
The Albinelli Market in the centre of Modena is a gathering place, bustling with great energy and even better products. From the best Italian cheeses to Manzini, gastronomy with condiments, anchovies and spices, as well as fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fi sh and cold cuts. It’s a cook’s paradise and a fantasy land of fl avours for people who love to eat. mercatoalbinelli.it