Assisi, then Urbino, and a Hotel Change

Trip Start Jan 15, 2007
Trip End Jan 25, 2007

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Where I stayed
Hotel San Domenico

Flag of Italy  , Marche,
Thursday, January 18, 2007

After leaving Spello, Assisi is just a short ride away. We  parked at the foot of the town outside the gate that led directly to the famous church of the Patron Saint, St Francis. There is a large and beautiful piazza that leads to the church which was truly outstanding, and equally beautiful cathedral dedicated to St Francis, complete with his tomb, and a gallery of stunning paintings by Giotto. It was a very windy morning, but we spent quite a lot of time in this town, strolling around a bit and sitting on a bench taking photos of the views from the town to the surrounding countryside. After leaving we made our way north to the Le Marche town of Urbino, a college town jumping with students, and famous for hundreds of years. There is a palace once occupied by Duke Federico de Montefeltro, an intimate of the Medici, Popes, and the famous courtier Baldassare Castiliogne. The hotel I had selected, Bonconte, would have given us a stunning view of the countryside, but an e mail at the last minute told me that we were switched to the Hotel San Domenico, because they had closed unexpectedly due to an emergency. San Domenico was a beautiful hotel, right on the main square with the palace opposite, and free, gated, wonderfully close parking right next door. In that sense it was a great place, but when we strolled around, as is our wont, we went to the hotel we would have had and actually looked at the room I had selected with an amazing view which we captured at ground level. A video remarks that this is the view we would have had, but now have the parking lot at San Domenico. The streets of Urbino were the steepest of any hill town I have ever been to. We spent the afternoon trudging up and down, found a lovely restaurant for dinner down one of these hills, and decided to get back to it later. In the meantime we hob nobbed with the local citizenry and the abundance of students that made this town much more crowded than the others we had just visited. We did visit the palace of the Duke, and even saw his famous 'studiolo'. For dinner we were just too pooped to attempt to negotiate the steep hill to the restaurant and ate elsewhere, which was absolutely superb, and despite the intervening years, still have a vivid recollection of the incredible food we had at this restaurant. We just loved Urbino, the best hill town so far.
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