Monday, July 18, 2011

Umbria Jazz and Assisi

Of course I had to go to Umbria Jazz at least once while in Perugia. While I didnt pay to see Prince or Lisa Minelli, I did go to a free concert. The group was from Tennessee or Kentucky so it didnt feel all that exotic to me, but the setting was fantastic and mellow and it was easy to see and hear everything.
The crowd wasnt too big and the weather was perfect for a night time concert. I bought a slice of pizza caprese at a pizza shop and watched the show from the middle of the crowd.
This weekend I went to Assisi, which is where Italy's patron saint Saint Francis lived. I was expecting Assisi to be exactly like Perugia but it was quite different. Assisi was brighter with wider streets, very clean, and seemed more modern than Perugia. Perugia has steep stairs, climbs, aqueducts, and arches throughout the city, and while Assisi is also hilly it is relatively flat in comparison. I can understand now how Perugia is considered a larger city compared to a small city like Assisi, where I feel that I was able to see just about everything in about half a day.
The Basilica of San Francesco. The inside was beautiful, but unfortunately no pictures allowed. There is a mcuh smaller, more humble church which is the one where San Francesco knelt before a cross. Notice how green the grass is and how blue the sky is. This is why Assisi is so pleasant.
Although Assisi is a famous pilrimage destination, there were also interesting secular sights. Two of note that I saw were Rocca Maggiore and Monte Subasio. Rocca Maggiore is an old fort. It was used in medeival times in its rivalry with surrounding cities like Perugia and Siena.It is situated startegically on the highest ground in the city and has a great view. It featured the innovative (at the time) fire tower system so that people from far away could signal danger to one another. It also featured a double door gate, which was a solution to the problem that gates were the weakest part of forts in Medeival times. There was a small room in between two gates so that if the enemy broke into the first gate, they couldnt get through the second gate once bodies had piled up in the small space between the two gates. Gory, yes, but also effective.
Part of the Rocca Maggiore.

Me on Mount Subasio. I hiked up for 30 to 45 minutes. If I had kept going I would have found the monastery somewhere, but I didnt have time, and really just wanted to see the view. Mount Subasio itself isnt very tall but the map listed some long hikes, so it must extend back far.

I recently bought some frozen burger patties thinking they wouldnt be so bad, but after cooking the first I realized it had no taste and dreaded eating the rest. But I had a great idea to make the burger taste delicious using just a few ingredients: the last portion of pesto that needed to be eaten today, two bread ends to finish off a loaf, butter, garlic, a frozen hamburger patty, and green beans. I melted butter on the stove and added in some garlic. Then I toasted the bread ends in the butter while also boiling the green beans and cooking the hamburger. I made some pesto pasta on the side to go with it all and voila! Pesto-garnished burger on garlic-butter toasted bun with green beans, pesto pasta, and aranciata! It sounds like it should be on a restuarant menu.
I have been getting more and more innovative and am particularly proud of this lunch I made today.

1 comment:

  1. You should have paid to see Prince!

    If you have more burgers and are out of pesto- salt the meat before cooking, it may help!