Assisi is an easy day trip from Perugia where we’d chosen to stay in central Italy after leaving Florence. So we took the train there to pay homage to the patron saint of animals, St. Francis. Because of his favor among Catholics and others the city is filled with tourists, there to walk the streets that he did and see the Assisi Cathedral where he first preached.
I wasn’t at my best the day we made our trip so my feelings about it are somewhat dampered because of that. I remember a lot of kitschy souvenirs everywhere and tours parading about. But I had to admit that it was a quaint little town, nonetheless, filled with history. There were also more peaceful places like the little deli we found for lunch — some bread, cheese, and oranges — and the nearby park bench to rest and eat. And then just before climbing on the bus to take us down the hill to the train, we found this cavernous alley, deep in shadows and mystery beyond that corner in the back. And it will remain a mystery for now as I was anxious to be back at our hostel in Perugia for a quiet dinner and evening.
Whenever you travel you can’t help but notice other people out on the road with you, cameras slung around their neck, that vaguely lost appearance, and the map or guide in hand trying to figure out where to go or what to do next. Sometimes you meet some really interesting people that way. I met three women on Windjammer cruises back in 1986 and 1989 who are among my closest friends today and are like sisters to me. Other times the people you see simply make up part of the interesting backdrop of where you are. And I love to people watch.
This lady, reading a guide or maybe a map, we saw in Perugia, Italy resting in the square just outside the university. It was a beautiful day in March and one of the warmest we’d experienced since coming to Europe from the heat and humidity of Southeast Asia. Students were basking on the stairs of a nearby building and everyone seemed to be enjoying this early Spring day. I cannot say what she might have been doing or looking for. Maybe waiting for someone. Perhaps on a tour on her own. We were happy to rest with her in the sun along with our other fellow travelers, gathering energy for the second half of our world trip that extended through southern Europe, culminating in Morocco.