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Sunday 8 November

On the last piece of track after Settebagni into Rome; an absolutely gorgeous day — I do not want to spend it on trains, in Rome, at the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, or in front of a computer — I came pretty close to chucking it and going to hike a piece of Flaminia instead: my stay is essentially over and not only I haven't seen Rignano or the Scheggia-Cagli section or the Gola del Furlo, worse yet I haven't done quite all the Umbrian section (missing a piece from S. Maria in Pantano to Bastardo, plus a more careful retake of the Antica route from Acquasparta to Bevagna). This due in part to several days like Thursday, reported, when I just slept thru the middle of the day.

Friday on the other hand was as useful as one of my awkward Todi days can be: I had the sense to go see the Forum of Asisium in the morning and get to Todi from the north rather than by my usual route.

Train 10:14 arriving about 10 minutes later in Assisi; longish wait for the half-hourly bus up the hill, compounded by my getting off near the Basilica rather than at the end of the line P.zza Matteotti (alias: quasi-mythical Roman circus), and Assisi streets juvantibus, which girdle the hill with very few cross-streets between levels, didn't get to the Forum 'til 1105.

Still, the just short of 2 hours to the midday caesura was just about perfect to do a complete careful visit. The Forum — about a quarter of it open space, the rest now filled in and holding up buildings — is being used as a depository for lots of inscriptions; it's run by the same private Sistema Museale as Bettona's (and indeed Spello's) Pinacoteca. [. . .]

An underground stone street with mysterious stones here and there. It is the Roman Forum of Assisi, in Umbria (central Italy).
A very small part of the surviving section of the Forum, now underground.
(If you're planning to visit Assisi, mark this on your to-see list!
Even to the casual tourist, this is a fascinating place.)

Anyway, the forum of Assisi of real interest; [. . .]

Orderly progress now to Todi: 1315 bus from the Piazza Matteotti, 1358 train to Ponte San Giovanni, 1422 FCU train to Todi, little orange bus meeting the train almost immediately — I had my 1200₤ in exact change this time — and up into Todi to potter around until the Ottica Ursini opened, at 3:30 I think. They'd thought I'd somehow up and left; 72 rolls of film — we checked 'em one by one — and then I left to do a brief round of the town before my bus left at 1722: said goodbye to the Ursini's.

Ten minutes later near the rocca I saw some 16c dolphins with the bulbous heads that James alerted me to; took out the telephoto — the lens was shattered. . . I'd dropped my bag on getting on the train in Assisi; half-panic back down to Messrs. Ursini, hoping it was just the UV‑protector lens and that we could remove it (having tried: it seemed wedged on): it was, we did — praise Godzilla — and I said goodbye to the Ursini's.

Bus to the stazione, arriving at which a sign on the door, sciopero; the bus driver let me stay onboard — back up into town, schedule check: assuming the 4‑hour strike were indeed to end at 8 P.M. as announced so suddenly while I was in town, the best schedules would put me home in bed at midnight — with an 0400 wakeup the next day. I decided if the price were reasonable to take a cab: went back to the Ottica to ask what might be reasonable; Mr. Ursini Sr. fixed me up with a cabbie for 70 ML — more than reasonable for an hour's drive (plus his hour's drive back) and maybe 10 liters of gas. Off I went, gratefully: said goodbye to the Ursini's. . . .

And to bed after an eventless dark ride around much of central Umbria.


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Page updated: 1 Mar 11