Practical Assisi (and Beyond)
Whether you’re planning a trip to Assisi or anywhere in the world, it’s important to think practically. In this featured episode, I cover some essentials necessary to know when traveling to the beautiful uphill medieval town, the birthplace of St Francis of Assisi, in Italy.
Here are a few key things a practical traveler should keep in mind when traveling.
• Always have a plan B when booking a hotel/B&B, or any other accommodation. In case there’s a booking problem, or the establishment fails to meet your expectations, you still have options. And you should always confirm where your hotel is relative to public transportation. Sometimes it’s not worth saving a few dollars when you have to spend more on a taxi or wear yourself out carrying your luggage across obscene distances and terrain (and I speak from experience on this).
• Do your homework on travel websites like Tripadvisor. Tripadvisor has a forum with designated local travel specialists and even other contributing travelers who have a wealth of advice to offer in terms of accommodations, restaurants, transportation, and attractions worth visiting.
• Eat where the locals eat, and when it doubt, ask your local barista, hotel clerks who don’t appear as though they get kickbacks from sending you to certain overpriced restaurants, and other travelers you meet in the area. Chances are travelers stumbled upon restaurants they loved or hated and are more than happy to share what they’ve learned. If there’s no one to ask, remember to stay away from tourist centers and restaurants with tourist prices and menus. If you see more tourists than locals, walk a few blocks out of the center and see what else you discover.
• If you are in need of internet connection during your travel, find out if your hotel offers it, and if there are convenient internet cafes in the vicinity.
• If at all possible, find accommodations outside the main city center and closer to local life. Not only will you save money on room expense, but you’ll also be surrounded with other local perks: supermarkets, pharmacies, laundry mats, internet points, and everything at much lower cost than in the “tourist priced” center.
EP. #27 Practical Assisi
*Note: since the episode was created, Hotel Camere St Chiara has been sold to a new owner and I’m not aware of its current status. Chef and owner of Restaurant Grotta Antica, Chef Oscar, has moved to Argentina. You can watch his cooking shows on other A Road Retraveled episodes. When I return to Assisi next, I will see what the current status is of these two places.
Simone diSanti is the Road Retraveled Editor for Wandering Educators.