Before we left Florence, our guide had told us that Assisi had been added to our schedule and we were very excited about that.  After a short bus ride, we arrived there and were met by a local guide at the Basilica of St Francis.  Much of the basilica was behind scaffolding because of work being done after the series of earthquakes beginning September 26, 1997. Since it was a Sunday, we were not allowed to see much of the lower basilica either since there was a mass at that time and it was filled with worshippers.  Of course the upper basilica was damaged by the earthquakes and was not accessible at all.  We were allowed to enter the basilica and make our way down to the crypt.  On our way back we were able to stop in the lower basilica for a few moments and were able to see a few frescoes, including one of St. Francis preaching to the animals. The following is a picture of the basilica before the earthquake.

Our tour continued with a walk through the town, ending at the central square with the Temple of Minerva, later converted to a Christian church. 

We were given some free time before we met again together for a lunch arranged by the tour guide, who also provided commentary about the food.

From there our drive through what is called "the green belt of Italy" included views of many hill towns and beautiful green hills.

The roads became smaller and smaller until we arrived at an agritourismo near Baschi.

On to the agriturismo to see the hilltowns of Civita  and Orvieto.

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