Assisi was my favorite part of this high school trip. Four years later this is the most vivid day and night I can remember of these days spent in Italy. I remember when we approached the town on the hill I didn’t expect much, and when our tour guide told us this was where we would be sleeping I thought, “Oh great, another boring night.”
Of course I was wrong.
After taking tours of the San Francesco and Santa Chiara Basilicas we were left to explore the town on our own. The first thing my group did was eat lunch in a small deli near the Santa Chiara Basilica. I had one of the best caprese I have ever had in my life. The clerk behind the counter spoke english very well and told us that the olive oil used in our food was from the olives that grew at the bottom of the town (you can see some of the olive trees in the picture above). His daughter worked at the deli too and loved talking to us and that was when I realized, not everyone hated Americans. Yes, there are some people that do not like us, but it isn’t everyone. After talking to this family I felt more comfortable in a foreign country. This is because I was taught that if I traveled those not from the United States wouldn’t like me because I was American. After this trip to Italy I realized that yes, some people don’t like me because I am American, but some people don’t care, as long as I’m a kind person that wants to talk to them and get to know their culture. If you travel to another country you should be willing to learn about it, not just assume you know about it because you read it in a book. The locals are your best way to learn about where you are. They will tell you the history, the best places to eat, the sights to see, you just have to give them the chance to tell you.
After eating we climbed to the very top of the hill to the Rocca Maggiore. In the picture above you can see the two towers peeking above the treeline. It is a long hike, but it’s worth it. I know you have to pay what I believe is about two euros (it might be more, but I don’t remember, I do remember paying a fee to get into the castle). I highly recommend doing so. You can climb up and down special holes in the floors, you can walk through underground pathways, you can even climb a tower. Let your inner Game of Thrones take over!
After this we settled into our hotel and heard singing and music from our window. Being teenagers we had a curfew, but that didn’t stop us. We left the hotel and went to the cafe below. There we drank wine and danced with the locals. It was the most fun I had the whole trip!
Check out my whole trip to Italy here!