I’ve been in Italy a week today. I was amazed that it only took me 2 or 3 days to adapt to the 11 hour time difference. I stayed one night in Rome and then caught two trains to Assisi. I must admit that catching trains and buses in other countries and in other languages is not my forte – but I did it and I was proud of myself.
Once in Assisi, I checked in to my apartment and then the apartment owner gave me a tour around the town. Assisi is a small, charming town on a hill in Umbria. It has a lot of history – churches, painting and Roman artefacts – dating back thousands of years and is where the Franciscan monks are based. On the weekend, there were huge celebrations and apparently the Pope was here. There were hundreds of monks, nuns, priests and people from all over the world to celebrate St Francis.
My apartment is very close the central square so it’s been really easy to get around and all the shops are right here too. Each day I’ve gone on lots of different walks, visited churches, parks and museums and each day, I’ve done lots of writing too. I haven’t had much social interaction and my Italian is not good at all. But I’ve managed to buy groceries, meals and get myself out and about.
I discovered this pathway called Via Andrea and followed it – I found this cool sitting and lookout area looking down on the St Francesco churches and the Umbrian countryside.
I’ve loved Assisi and could easily stay longer. However, tomorrow I head to a yoga retreat for a few days 1-2 hours from here but in Perugia. I am really looking forward to that as the yoga centre is run by friends of my yoga teacher in Wellington. It is Kundalini yoga and it will be great to do a class each day, eat healthy vegetarian meals, relax, meet new people and continue my writing.
After that I do a quick tour including Venice, Florence and Sorrento and then am based in Verona for a month.
I hope to have finished the first draft of my book by the end of November. Being on my own means I have time to do sightseeing and write. I seem to be able to focus quite well on the writing as I don’t have any English TV stations or internet in my apartment. And of course, Umbria is so inspiring.
It is wonderful to have the opportunity to come to Italy. It has always been a dream of mine to write in Italy and here I am doing it. Time away is giving me lots of time for reflection. I’m enjoying it here but as always really enjoy going home to New Zealand.