Monday, July 03, 2006

Lodging in Italian Monasteries, Sept. 2001


My dream for many years was a trip to Italy. Finally, in 2001, I was able to live this dream. I had been widowed for over 10 years and was retired..…a free and independent soul living in North Carolina, USA.

My good friend Douglas and I planned our stay in Umbria and Tuscany . I had read a wonderful book entitled “Lodging in Italy’s Monasteries” and realized that we would be able to afford a month’s stay, instead of our proposed two weeks, by utilizing their services and traveling via public transportation.

We made reservations at 7 Monasteries (located in Rome, Orvieto, Bavagna, Gubbio, Cortona, Florence & Venice), and were on our way to Italy on September 4th, 2001.

Three days in Rome and two in Orvieto were filled with treasures and views that I had only imagined and read about. The 6th day, which was September 10th found us in the small town of Bavagna. This is a charming town with two small piazzas tucked in between ancient adjacent buildings and churches. We chose Bavagna because it was close to Assisi and we wanted to visit the Basilica of St. Francis.

Neither Douglas nor I were affiliated with any religion but we were both greatly influenced by the Prayer of St. Francis. Being "friends of Bill W." had put us on a spiritual path and we were anxious to visit Assisi. We did just this on Sept. 11th and returned to Bavagna at approximately 4:30 pm.

The first inkling that something was wrong was when the few townspeople who were in the Piazza called to us and pointed to the little bar/coffee shop/ice cream parlor, insisting that we go there. The shop boasted the only TV in the square and it was just recording the horrific events of 9-11. We actually saw the live pictures of the second tower being attacked.

I will never forget that day and the feeling of being so far from home and so totally
useless. It changed my life. I lost my good friend Douglas last year to cancer and I guess that opening this Blog is just my small way of reaching out and seeing if there are kindred souls out there who would like to exchange ideas.

In a nutshell...I am a young 73, in good health and with a positive outlook on life. I abhor our political shenanigans...the worst I have seen in my lifetime...but I have great faith in our country and can't wait to see what the future brings. I would love to hear from any of you.

Your blogger friend......Ginnie

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am planning a trip to Italy with my 77 year old Father to scatter the ashes of his recently deceased wife. I would be very interested to hear about the monasteries in which you stayed, especially Orvieto. I enjoyed reading you blog entry for 9/11/01...

2:51 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

Hi: The monastery that we stayed in while in Orvieto was the "Instituto S.S. Salvatore Suore Domenicane" and it was outstanding. Lovely open rooms and great views.
If you could get a copy of the book "Lodging in Italian Monasteries" you could do what we did and choose your places from there. They even have an example of the type of letter to send, etc.
The second time I went to Italy my girlfriend insisted on using a travel service &, altho we did stay in a monastery in Florence, it was nowhere near as nice as the ones that I found in that book.
Good luck and all the best to you & your father on your journey. I can't imagine a lovlier place to scatter ashes.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Genial brief and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you as your information.

11:06 AM  

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