Assisi is a hill town in central Italy, but it is not in Tuscany – it is in the Province of Perugia in the Umbria region. A visit to the Medieval town of Assisiis essential; a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its represents “a series of masterpieces of man‘s creative spirit.” The town revolves around its most renowned citizen, St. Francis, Patron Saint of Italy: from the Basilica, which is dedicated to the Saint and contains his tomb, to the hermitage (Eremo delle Carceri), a few kilometers outside the town walls, where St. Francis used to retreat in prayer.
Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. Born in Italy circa 1182, Saint Francis of Assisi was renowned for drinking and partying in his youth. After fighting in a battle between Assisi and Perugia, Francis was captured and imprisoned for ransom. He spent nearly a year in prison — awaiting his father’s payment — and, according to legend, began receiving visions from God.
After his release from prison, Francis heard the voice of Christ, who told him to repair the Christian Church and live a life of poverty. Consequently, he abandoned his life of luxury and became a devotee of the faith, his reputation spreading all over the Christian world.
We’re talking “market day” in Italy! Nearly every town in Tuscany and Umbria have a weekly market day and there is nothing more special than being a part of one.
Usually held in the mornings, the town square is filled with dozens of trucks with literally everything from fruit to nuts. There will be stalls selling shoes, clothing, olives, bread, meats, cheeses and everything in between. Now don’t get us wrong, this is not a tourist attraction, this is how the locals shop and it’s amazing to be able to participate. We love to sample our way through the market, always buying things to eat throughout the rest of our trip or to pack for our family back home When we aren’t sampling we are photographing the array of items for sale. On our Wine Centric Italy trip in October 2014 we’ll be experiencing market day in Greve in the Chianti region. I know we’ve said it before, this is another one of those experiences you must have when visiting Italy.
In October 2014 we are hosting a very special small group wine experience to Italy with Vino Etcetera sommelier Corienne Winkels.
Our very first information night will be Tuesday January 7, 2014 at Vino Etcetera, 120 E Wisconsin Ave, Oconomowoc, WI. Please RSVP (262-538-2140 or firstname.lastname@example.org) if you plan on attending. We promise lots of fun and perhaps even some Italian Wine!
So what’s so great about this trip? Only 24 people are going, so it promises to be an intimate and relaxed tour. And if you’re wondering how much fun we have – just ask anyone that went with us to Burgundy & Provence in 2013. Our France wine trip was a most memorable and fantastic time, with Italy shaping up every bit as amazing.
During our tour you will discover: The Eternal City – Rome, the worlds smallest state – Vatican City, the classic Tuscan hill town of Cortona, Umbria’s grand hill town of Orvieto, the picturesque renaissance town of Montepulciano, the small town with the powerful wine – Brunello, the medieval city of Siena and the unofficial capital of Chianti – Greve.
We have lots of wine tastings and winery visits planned – note these are not ones found on “normal” tourist routes, but quite boutique and hand selected just for this trip. Preliminary details are available on our web page, with more information coming soon.