Tuesday, June 21, 2011

St. Francis of Assisi

June 7

Today we prepared a four course "simple" lunch (with a couple from England) of Ricotta Roll with Marjoram, Pork Loin with White Grapes, Fettucine with Cherry Tomatoes and Crostata with Cherry Jam. Wow!! This was served with a local wine. Delicious!!

In the picture below,  My instructor Steff and I "shake out" the linguine just after cutting.

We were fortunate today to see many Holy places related to St. Francis of Assisi. After our cooking lesson, we were taken first to St Damian's Church, where St Francis was first given the message to restore the church. This is a humble stone sanctuary. From there we visited the Hermitage, a sacred retreat where St Francis sought peace and tranquility. Next we were able to tour the Basilica of St Clare which was finished in 1265 and houses the remains of St Clare. The Temple of Minerva at one time was the centerpiece of the city, dating from at least 800, the interior is 17th century Baroque today. We continued through the narrow streets to finally reach the Basilica of St Francis, two overlapping churches, the lower from 1228-1230 and the upper dating 1230-1253. In the lower rests the remains of St Francis surrounded by niches holding his four companions. Frescoes by Giotto grace the walls of the upper church. Finally we ended our afternoon with a charming surprise of the Basilica of Santa Maria Degliangeli. Built in 1569, this is said to be one of the largest Christian sanctuaries with a grand dome. Inside, however, is the treat, enclosed within is the tiny Porziuncola, a quaint, rustic church, where in 1205, St Francis made his home. My, what a day, hard to take it all in!

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