December 15, 1961 – Italy

Quirinale Hotel, Rome, Italy – Clear

     Edith and I got up early so we could get breakfast and still be ready to leave on our bus at 9:30am.  I ordered the Eggs Benedict one last time and enjoyed it thoroughly.  I knew I was going to miss the food here at the hotel for sure when I got home.  Their sauces were heavenly.

     At 9:15am a boy from the bus knocked on our door so he could pick up our bags and take them to the bus.  I was appreciative of his help because my bag was rather heavy even after sending home my package.  Edith and I followed after him and then checked out at the desk before boarding the bus for Florence. 

     The weather was clear but cold as we left Rome and I was glad our bus was heated.  Our all day trip to Florence was via the Tiber River and the Apennine Mountains.  I loved seeing the countryside of Italy as we passed through old villages and towns nestled in the hills.  The valleys were beautifully greened up with vegetation including many olive groves and vineyards.  We drove over the Somma Pass which was at a 2100 foot elevation and followed the shore of Lake Trasimeno which was 16 miles long and had the famous islands of Maggiore, Minore and Polvese.  We passed by Assisi in the province of Preugia and were able to stop to see the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi that was quite impressive.  I discovered it was actually three churches one on top of the other.  Its stone foundation was laid by Pope Gregory on the day the saint was canonized.

Assisi Valley

St Frances Basilica Close Up

St Frances Church Three Floors

     After visiting the basilica we stopped for lunch at the Assisi Hotel.  The food was wonderful and made me want to eat more than I knew I should. 

     After leaving Assisi our bus continued on its way to Florence.  Our next stop was Perugia which was an interesting city with many medieval buildings and Etruscan influences.  Perugino, Pinturicchio and Raphael worked in Perugia.  After leaving the city we continued on our trip through Arezzo following the Arno River on towards Florence.  We didn’t arrive at our destination and get to our hotel until 8pm and it was dark so we couldn’t see very much scenery.  Edith and I were very tired by the time we had checked in and gotten our rooms. 

Florence's Arno River

Another View of Florence's Arno River

     The Hotel Savoy was quite elegant and our room wonderful.  After putting dropping off our suitcases in the room, Edith and I went to the hotel’s dining room for dinner.  We were told the restaurant was highly rated and we were lucky they were able to fit us in.  I had a wonderful Linguine with claims and Edith had their Cod Fish fixed Florentine Style.  I had always been told that the food in Tuscany was good and I wasn’t disappointed. 

     Having had a nice glass of wine and a very filling meal, Edith and I went back to our room to wash out some clothes, take a bath and go to bed.  It felt good to finally be able to stop for the day and sleep.

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