Susan's sketchbook log: Sicily & Malta


Assisi Piazza del ComuneCommuning with St. Francis

Did the 5K walk up the road to Eremo dei Caceri (left) a couple of times, as it was such a cool place. It was out the Cappuccines gate, and up past the Rocca Minore (below, right, the "little fort"). And on a couple of national holidays that fell while I was in Assisi, one of the only places you could still escape the madding crowd.

The road up Mount Subasio provided some beautiful views over the valley. Especially after recent rains, there was no doubt that this indeed was 'the green heart of Italy.'

Assisi Piazza del ComuneEnjoyed one of the walks with Judy, a fellow artist who is studying at the Universita' per Stranieri in Perugia. We had lunch on the road at La Stalla, a perfect countryside trattoria. It's a series of former livestock stalls made of stone walls and low-beamed ceilings thoroughly blackened by and still filled with smoke, some of which was rising from my sausages being grilled. A funny waitress and a couple of carafes of vino rosso made for a memorable lunch.

"Hermitage of the Prisons" is the 2009 translation of this place , but back in the 13th century, "caceri" were more like caves. You can still see some of the caves, the entrances blocked now. There's a tiny little sanctuary with about three seats, and the ilex tree where the birds perched to listen to St. Francis preach is still there, propped up by big stakes and metal collars.

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