If you love gardens and flowers as much as me, the city of Assisi in Italy is the best place in the world for you to go. The city is absolutely gorgeous with so many amazing churches with different architectural stiles from different periods within its borders, and the two that were my favorite were the Papal Basilica of San Francesco and the Basilica of Santa Chiara. The Basilica of San Francesco was neat because not only did the Pope at the time have it built himself, there are two churches within the building. The first church is Romanesque, with arches and somewhat Byzantine looking frescoes everywhere and is on the bottom floor. The church on the top is more Gothic with tall ceilings and more gorgeous frescoes, but these more lifelike and painted by Giotto. The Basilica of Santa Chiara was very amazing to see because below the church was her tomb and reliquary, full of clothes and other items used in the daily lives of both Saint Claire and Saint Francis. It was breathtaking to go down and see her fiberglass form in the ornate marble tomb.
The churches in Assisi are amazing, but what is even more breathtaking is the amount and variety of flowers we saw walking between the churches and through the streets. We saw plenty of examples of almost every plant we talked about in the first week of classes- annuals like petunias and geraniums, flowering perennials like poppies and star jasmine, and woody perennials like rosemary plants were everywhere we looked!
We learned that that Saint Francis and Saint Claire were close to each other in their lives, I wonder if he ever gathered some of these breathtaking flowers for her:)