Assisi tour – d1 / we meet up…

In Florence, it’s raining, and I feel pressure

I’ve always had sun.

But I say to myself, there are still two days before we start walking. Today is officially the first day, yes, but it’s the day that we all meet up at the Hotel Roma, in the Piazza Santa Marie Novella. It’s not a walking day.

And tomorrow, we drive to the monastery at della Verna – the place where St. Francis experienced his stigmata – and that isn’t a walking day either.

It’s only on Wednesday we start our walk proper. So I have two day for the rain to clear.


You have to understand, I have an obligation to the farmers.

They need rain.

And also to the municipal councils, for their reservoirs.

They need rain too.

But on Wednesday, enough is enough.

You guys will have had your fill.

Now it’s time to walk, so… sunshine please.

Today we all met up at the luxurious Hotel Roma, in the heart of the historic area of Florence. We met Patricia Talbot for the first time – Patti. And the group met Elena. group at roma


Patti, a professional pastry and cake maker, presented Jennifer and myself with a tin of ANZAC bikkies that she’s baked for us, and had brought all the way from the UK, which is where she and her husband live.

What a wonderfully thoughtful gift!
And what a beautiful lady!

It was raining and we walked to our restaurant for dinner.

Elena led the way –

Elena leading the way

Marie enjoyed her walk under her umbrella.

Marie under umbrella

We had the best time at dinner. A tiny hole-in-the-wall local place with beautiful food – a place that Elena’s father, who knows Florence well, had recommended. Trip Advisor has recently discovered it, and we were lucky we booked, because the staff were turning people away constantly.

I introduced Peter Landers (the sole surviving half of the Landers Express, the other half, his wife Julie, holding the Fort in Melbourne) and Ken Mitchell, who pretends to be a man of moral propriety, but in fact in the corruptible presence of my humble self quickly reverts to his true nature – where was I  – oh yes, I introduced these two “so called” pilgrims to the joyous fires of Vin Santo, which in easy parlance is the Italian equivalent of White Port.

Say no more…

It was a fun evening, and a wonderful start to what promises to be an extraordinary two weeks – a time for a lot of laughter and ribbing, but also a time of talk and discussions about all things spiritual and esoteric and religious,  and a pilgrimage walk that will have, in all seriousness, profound resonances.

Ken Mitchell and I started one of these deepish chats while walking back to the hotel. We talked about Uluru, and the magic presence there.

Ken pretends to be a bit of yobbo but truth be known, he runs deep.

Kind of like a stormwater drainage pipe…

Ken walking home

Tomorrow we head off into St. Francis territory, and into the heart of an energetic vortex that I believe will affect us all most deeply.

merry go round

15 thoughts on “Assisi tour – d1 / we meet up…

  1. Look how radiant Marie is. I can’t wait to see what she looks like at the end of the pilgrimage. She will be shining so bright you won’t need the sun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Donna, Marie is having a wonderful time already. And it was so great to meet up with her again, as it was to see Ken and Angie too, whom we haven’t seen since Portugal.

      And delightful to finally meet Patti, who slotted in like she was a long lost buddy. A wonderful lady…


  2. Bill and Everyone, have a fun and blessed journey. I will accompany you in my thoughts and am looking forward to postings. Please say “Hello” to St. Francis for me, he is my personal patron saint. My middle name is Franziska. You might remember that on my Camino I was also gifted a TAU cross, outside of the Cathedral in Pamplona, a very liminal experience, just a little reminder that St. Francis was watching out and reminding me, that maybe there was more to that walk then I thought. And of course it was.

    Is Marie, our friend Marie the Basque? Oh I hope I get to meet her this summer, somehow.

    Only 2 more months and a few days before I fly into Lisboa… time is speeding up and there seems to be a millions things to do. But I will take the time and follow you, the feed usually comes in during the early hours, sometimes even before I go to sleep.

    Light and Love to you all, Ingrid

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ingrid, what a lovely comment, thank you! Yes Marie is Marie Basque. She is very Basque! I had forgotten your connection to St. Francis. We gave everyone a Tau cross in their pilgrim packs, to attach to their backpacks. This time Jennifrr made the packs – a bag or pack full of gifts – she made it out of thick Italian fabric, tied with a Francescan like cord. And she embroidered on the front a brown Tau cross. It was beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Bill.
    Wishing you every blessing on your journey.
    St Francis holds a special place in my heart, so I look forward to following your daily experiences. I continue to quietly check in with your blog regularly and appreciate the honesty, integrity and humour you so generously share.

    In the words of St Francis, “A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”
    May you all be sunbeams and rid the world of many shadows as you walk, talk, laugh and share along the journey.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks a lot Linda for this very meaningful present.See you in India.

    Envoyé de mon ASUS


  5. Hi everyone on the Assisi pilgrimage –
    Wishing you all the best of everything WONDERFUL every single day.
    Take joy in every step.
    Salute to you all –


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