Subject: Day Trips
Regarding the day trip from Rome to Assisi, and all other day trips in Italy in general.

Keep in mind that in almost every city in Italy, everything (except restaurants) closes from about 12;30 to 3 or 3:30. This means that if you get up at a reasonable hour - you are on vacation, after all - have breakfast and get yourself to the train or bus station, it's already 9 to 10 AM. Travel for an hour to an hour and a half, and you now have maybe two hours, maybe less, to get yourself oriented and see anything in your day trip city. Now it's lunch time and for the next three hours, all there is to do is eat - not a bad thing in Italy. The problem here is that usually you don't want to sit in a restaurant for three hours, you want to see the town. So you leave, and go for a walk, because there is no place to sit and relax until things are open again, except another restaurant or bar. While walking, you see all kinds of things that are closed - museums, shops, churches, galleries, etc. But by the time things are open again, you realize that you need to be thinking about when you'll get the train or bus back, so you'll be home before dark, dinner or whatever.

In general, I'm not a great fan of day trips, as you can tell. Even with a car, we have not found this kind of traveling to be very satisfactory, but having a car means a little more freedom from the schedule of trains and busses.

Those of you who do like day trips, how do you do it?? What time do you get on the road, or tracks?? What do you do during the lunch break??

Callie in New Orleans