After our concert in Assisi, we had three hours of three time. We decided to get some 2 Euro pizza at this place I had in my Let’s Go (it was actually only 1.70 for a delicious slice with salame piccante!), then climb Rocco Maggiore. Rocco Maggiore is a castle-like structure that has walls bordering the town of Assisi. It’s up on a hill — that’s the view from the town. Our guide said that it’s the castle used in The Chronicles of Narnia — or it inspired it, or it just looks like it.

The view just got more and more beautiful as we went up. We were constantly taking pictures of the changing views of the Umbrian countryside. This part of Umbria is in the Appenines, and mountains were sprouting up in some directions, but giving way to endless valleys in others. That’s the town of Assisi behind me.

Kelly and I decided to storm the castle. In her skirt and long shirt, she looked like she was in The Sound of Music! Yep, we sang that at the top of one of the many hills, and yelled out the stereotypical “Ricola” and, since Sean, Shannon and I are Massholes, a nice round of “Yankees Suck.” (Cameron and Jen were with us as well.)

For a mere 1.50 Euro, we got to go inside the castle and, as Let’s Go says, “make like a mole” through this long tunnel. It’s about 50 meters long and is about six feet tall, since Cameron could stand up but not go on tiptoe. Parts of it were lower — BE CAREFUL of the ceiling if you ever go in it!

The view at the top? Nothing short of BREATHTAKING. Imagine a 360-degree view of perfect valleys in one direction, mountains in a few others, and Umbrian hills all around. We dubbed a teeny building a “castle turd,” and Cameron was so afraid of heights that he wouldn’t move from the very center of the tower we climbed. It was so beautiful — and so nice to be out of the pollution-filled atmosphere of Rome and in the quiet country life of Assisi. An unforgettable experience.