Susan's sketchbook log: Sicily & Malta


Assisi Piazza del ComuneAssisi bus ticketOut of town for a Spell

There are a lot of cool little towns in the area. Spello (Hispellum to the Romans) was eight minutes down the train track. As happened daily, there were a bunch of school groups and kids that looked to be some kind of Italian Campfire with cute little hats, being led through churches and palazzi. But other than that, I felt like the only tourist. Had lunch at Il Molino, which had been a mill three hundred years ago.

I had read that that you needed to have change for the ticket machine at the train station, as it was too small to have a person working there. What I did not read was that the ticket machine was broken. Had BEEN broken, according to the barista in the Corner Bar, for four years. The same Corner Bar which was supposed to be the only other source of train tickets, but which had a sign up saying "We don't sell train tickets." So, no way to buy a ticket for the train, which at every stop announces if you don't have a ticket or it's not validated, you'll be subject to a 90 euro fine. "So, what do I do," I ask? A shrug, a moue. If you get asked, you explain. Riiiiiiight... So, after an espresso to fortify myself, I hop on board the next train and hold my breath for the eight minute ride to Assisi. Whew. No ticket-punching, fine-collecting conductor in sight.

When I HAD a ticket, I found that they -- like the bus tickets -- were nice stand-ins for paper. Above right is a view of San Rufino, the cathedral in Assisi, painted on a bus ticket.

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