Modest dress is required — no shorts or tank tops. Rick: The connoisseur. Add the first question. Here Giotto shows a nearly naked Francis — the rich kid tossing his fancy clothes to his father — befuddling high society by trading a life of luxury for one of simplicity. It's the heart of Italy! Rick: You love the wine like your son? It was frescoed from top to bottom by leading artists of the 13th century. It's like "prosciutto for beginners," and this is for the expert. And our farmhouse B&B provides a great springboard for a world of side trips. The family room — the oldest in the house — is welcoming in an aristocratic sort of way. And its fine 13th-century bell tower soars above the crowds of the main square. She's still mastering the fine art of eating spaghetti. And even nonreligious travelers become pilgrims of a sort as they explore the town and remember Francis. The series of frescoes above the altar is by Giotto, the most powerful storyteller of his day. And high above is Francis on a heavenly throne. Starting in Tuscany, we visit the wine regions around Montepulciano before crossing into Umbria and finishing in Assisi. Assisi and Italian Country Charm Giulio — think George Carlin with a meat cleaver and a pen tucked into his ponytail — whacks off slabs of beef, confirms the weight and price with the diner, and tosses the meat on the grill, seven minutes per side. Signora Gori is proud to show us her home. Assisi and Italian Country Charm #906. Don't miss their delightful dessert wine, vin santo. But for these venerable manor houses to stay viable, many augment their farming income by renting rooms to travelers. Terms of Service | Privacy, Montepulciano, Italy: Tuscan Vino and Views. Rick: One year. A huge religious order grew out of his teachings, which were gradually embraced by the Church. Travel with Rick on this video guide to hill towns in Italy including Civita di Bagnoregio, Orvieto, Cortona, and San Gimignano and find out what to do on your next trip. It opens us up not only to our world — but to new ways of appreciating it. We're staying in a B&B run by Signora Sylvia Gori. Rick: Enrico: When was the first barrel of wine here in this cellar? With farmhouse B&Bs as our springboard, we'll enjoy Italian culture, from village intimacy to the grand and saintly. Many thoughtful people entered monasteries and lived lives of quiet prayer and solitude in retreats like this. Thoughtful travel causes us to consider things differently — from the art of fine living to the teaching of a medieval saint. Thanks for joining us. Immediately, pilgrims came from far and wide, making Assisi a thriving pilgrimage center, which it is to this day. Palazzo Ricci sits atop a particularly impressive series of cellars. Tuscany is one of those regions where it just makes sense to sleep outside the city. Rick: So it says "famiglia Gori" — Many rural families still preserve their own meats and enjoy firing up their wood-burning ovens on special occasions. Rick: 10,000 litters. Signora Gori rents a few rooms in her centuries-old farmhouse. But, for these folks, it's well worth the trouble. That's good! Roberto: Try it! And it was here, in 1209, that he established the Franciscan Order. Modest dress is required to enter the church — no above-the-knee skirts or shorts and no sleeveless tops for men, women, or children. Rick: From the farm to the table, with only a little bit of travel — 200 meters! We're visiting the noble farm of the Zanda family, where Nicola raises a couple hundred pigs. Back in Assisi, he was given this fixer-upper chapel. At the deepest point, you can peer into the atmospheric Etruscan cave, where a warren of corridors spins off from a filled-in well. Making cheese this way is labor-intensive and takes lots of patience. Now, like the pigs all eventually do, we move onto the prosciutto part of the farm. Rick: 700 years. Assisi and Italian Country Charm #906. The town's main square is an inviting place to relax. Assisi's main drag leads from the town center toward the basilica, which holds the saint's much-venerated remains. The destination of so many pilgrims is the tomb of Francis, which lies deep beneath the basilica. The basilica rises in two levels above the tomb. So, to enjoy Assisi at its peaceful best, see it early or see it late. Aristocratic countryside elegance survives in Tuscany. Then, it's leave it to cleaver. Nicola: It's fantastic. Airs Sunday, March 4, 2018 at 1 p.m. on KPBS TV And is this good? Three scenes represent the vows of the Franciscans: obedience, chastity, and poverty. And the little one? In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made Rick Steves' Europe | Assisi and Italian Country Charm | Season 9 | Episode 6 | KERA Skip to Main Content Sure. But stepping inside you realize it's built around a humble little chapel. He preached by example and made the gospel's teaching more accessible to common people. This chapel, so dwarfed by this enormous church, reflects the monumental impact this simple friar — a reformer well ahead of his time — had on Christendom. It's a classic Tuscan table: Simplicity, a sense of harmony, and no rush…enjoyed with an elegant and welcoming noble family. But most visitors are day-trippers. In the lower basilica, Cimabue painted what's considered the earliest and most accurate portrayal of St. Francis. Nicola: The ham is waiting about 12 months. During the slow curing process, Nicola checks the progress employing a wooden needle and an expert nose. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, As is typical of agriturismos — as working farms renting rooms are called here — the furnishings are rustic, but comfortable. Rick: Millequattro — 1400. Farmhouse inn; making prosciutto and pecorino cheese; hiking down ancient wine cellars; the basilica in Assisi, Italy, the hometown of St. Francis. Pasta comes next — and the children prefer theirs bianco — with only olive oil. But the big central tower makes it clear that the city's keeping an eye out in all directions. This is the actual chapel that Francis and his first followers rebuilt. Signora Gori, happy to share the local bounty, invites us for lunch. How many bottles? For me, the heart of Italy is Tuscany and Umbria. Nice! Above these were the quarters for the hundreds of friars who once lived here. The Franciscan friars, with their passion for bringing God to the people, found a natural partner in Europe's first modern painter, Giotto. Enrico: 13,000. Rick: I can smell it already! Assisi and Italian Country Charm. In the Italian countryside, Rick connects with rustic, traditional culture: enjoying an agriturismo (farmhouse inn), seeing how prosciutto and pecorino cheese are made, and hiking down into deep and ancient wine cellars. In this beautiful setting you can almost imagine the much-loved saint preaching to the birds. Like pilgrims, we'll explore its stony center before trekking to its awe-inspiring basilica, built on the tomb of the beloved saint. Medieval Assisi was densely populated — with several times the population of the town today packed within its protective walls. Giulio, his wife Chiara, and their staff serve their hungry crowd like a well-choreographed meat-eaters' ballet. And, like so much of what she serves, the limoncello comes from her farm. Rick: Yeah? Then we'll visit Assisi and its awe-inspiring basilica dedicated to St. ... View production, box office, & company info. Below, you'll see five of Francis' closest followers — clearly just simple folk. It's very big barrel. In fact, Assisi routinely hosts inter-faith gatherings. A 13th-century historian wrote, "No more exquisite monument to the Lord has been built." Watch Rick Steves' Europe - Season 9, Episode 6 - Assisi and Italian Country Charm: Rick: My goodness. Francis' message of nonmaterialism challenges the wealthy and powerful to this day. They also serve hearty pastas and salads, other meaty plates, and a fine house wine. Under its historic vault, Grandpa nurtures the latest generation of Goris as the rural nobility of Italy carries on. Francis kneels in front of Lady Obedience, Chastity is in her tower of purity, flanked by two angels, and Lady Poverty is in her patched wedding dress. In the 13th century, Giotto's art was radical — unprecedented in its realism. And perhaps the most endearing scene in the basilica shows Francis preaching to the birds. Can you give me a little tour? This FAQ is empty. How many months? A Christian church was built into the ruined pagan temple in the ninth century. Enrico: Yeah, of course. The town overflows with Francis fans and a flood of Franciscan knickknacks. Its long, narrow room, jammed with shared tables, leads to a busy kitchen with an open fire. Here, in this Crucifixion scene, one angel turns her head sadly at the sight of Jesus, and another is in such anguish she scratches her hands down her cheeks. Roberto: Perfect. To counter your unhappy memories of Assisi, I would like to share my more pleasant experience! Rick: You like this? Francis, about to marry her, slips a ring on her finger as Jesus blesses the union. And, for our last stop, a chance to taste some of the wine as it's aging. We'll learn about — and taste — one of Tuscany's finest wines, and savor Florentine steak, before retracing the steps of St. Francis in Assisi. Hi, I'm Rick Steves back with more of the best of Europe. Assisi and Italian Country Charm In the Italian countryside, Rick watches prosciutto and pecorino cheese being made. The story of medieval Europe is the story of hard lives and a very religious world where people struggled and stressed about their relationship with God. Rick: A lot of work! And in Tuscany, the correct way to enjoy a steak is…rare. Assisi and Italian Country Charm In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made Watch Your Shows Many Ways While the town center may be congested, just a few steps away you'll find pockets of serenity. Until the 1960s, neighboring farmers brought their grain here. Fri, 10/23 at 5:00 pm on Austin PBS Create. Enrico: Yeah… Rick: You love your son like the wine! Signora Gori: Gori family. To merit the title "agriturismo," the farm must still be in business — and the Gori family makes wine. It rises where, in 1230, St. Francis was buried. Thanks for joining us. The people of Montepulciano seem to enjoy their red meat as much as their red wine. The kitchen, with its wood-burning stove and fine copper ware, has cooked up countless meals. But it seems most visitors are here for the story of St. Francis. Climbing even further down, we reach gigantic barrels under even more gigantic vaults and a chance to learn about the wine that's aging here. The upper basilica, built a bit later than the lower, is considered the first Gothic church in Italy. In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made Rick Steves' Europe | Assisi and Italian Country Charm | Season 9 | Episode 6 | WFSU Skip to Main Content It's made of wood — the Slavonian wood. RICK STEVES ’ EUROPE: Assisi And Italian Country Charm. And here in rural Tuscany, you feel an enthusiasm for tradition. Italy has many famous regions, including Tuscany and Umbria. Enter through the unassuming door and find your way down, down, down a spiral staircase. He ends in Assisi — the hometown of St. Francis — … We've curated a list of lesser-known films to help you explore the space-time continuum from the comfort of your couch. While locals know stone-ground corn makes the tastiest polenta…. Hamlets like these originated as communities of farmers who banded together on easily defensible hilltops overlooking their farmland. To be sure we get the most out of our visit, we're joined by my friend and fellow tour guide Roberto Bechi. Signora Gori: 1400. Rick Steves' Europe Preview: Assisi and Italian Country Charm Check your local public television station for this new Rick Steves’ Europe episode! …mills like these are a tough fit in our fast-paced world. At this farm, walls are stacked with rounds of pecorino, made from the unpasteurized — and therefore tastier — milk of the farm's sheep. Rick: This is from the head of the beautiful pigs I was just feeding…Is it good? Roberto: Ah, one year. (You won't be asked how you like your steak.) Enrico: Same. Same! With today's tourism and relative affluence, it's easy to forget the fact that, until the last generation, this region was quite poor. Assisi and Italian Country Charm. In 1939, Italy made Francis one of its patron saints, and in 2013, the newly elected pope took his name…the first ever Pope Francis. Roberto: For the expert. And I'm forever the attentive student. For centuries this town has celebrated its independent spirit. Nicola: 200 meters, but a lot of work. "Rick Steves' Europe" Assisi and Italian Country Charm (TV Episode 2016) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. Then we'll visit Assisi and its awe-inspiring basilica dedicated to St. Francis. Video: Watch Assisi and Italian Country Charm, an episode of the Rick Steves' Europe TV show. Inside the chapel, pilgrims remember the very spot where Francis lived, worked, and died, and how — as it turned out — fixing up that little chapel was a metaphor for a Church in need of reform. It's brighter, illuminated by 13th-century stained glass — the oldest in Italy, and covered with frescoes by Giotto and his assistants. Get a sneak peek of the new version of this page. Beautifully tended vines soak up the spring sun as hardworking vintners hope that this year's vintage will be one to remember. The medieval town hall resembles nearby Florence's Palazzo Vecchio — a reminder that about 500 years ago, Montepulciano allied itself with Florence. In Tuscany it's still possible to find your own sleepy fortified village. Series: Rick Steves' Europe Assisi and Italian Country Charm In the Italian countryside, Rick connects with rustic, traditional culture: enjoying an agriturismo (farmhouse inn), seeing how prosciutto and pecorino cheese are made, and hiking down into deep and ancient wine cellars. From a distance, you see the huge arches that support the basilica. In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made Rick Steves' Europe | Assisi and Italian Country Charm | Season 9 | Episode 6 | KPBS Skip to Main Content In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made Rick Steves' Europe | Assisi and Italian Country Charm | Season 9 | Episode 6 | IdahoPTV Rick: The same! This is the land of two beloved local wines: Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Very, very nice. Francis strove to be Christ-like. And this osteria is a carnivore's dream come true. In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made Rick Steves' Europe | Assisi and Italian Country Charm | Season 9 | Episode 6 | LPB Skip to Main Content But ultimately, even the pope recognized that Francis could restore a church and society in great need of reform. Giulio and Chiara run a fun-loving but tight ship — posing with slabs of red meat yet embracing more than two decades of trattoria tradition. And overlooking it all is the hill town of Montepulciano. As you explore, gaze up. Roberto: Yeah. The town's sleepy main piazza is surrounded by a grab bag of architectural sights. Nearby is the vecchio mulino — or old mill. Enrico: For me, the wine is how my son is. With its fine art, it still functions as a splendid classroom. While the Basilica of St Francis, where he's buried, dominates the town, we'll visit that later. For eight centuries it's been one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in all of Christendom. Add to favorites: Description In the Italian countryside, Rick connects with rustic, traditional culture: enjoying an agriturismo (farmhouse inn), seeing how prosciutto and pecorino cheese are made, and hiking down into deep and ancient wine cellars. Farmhouse inn; making prosciutto and pecorino cheese; hiking down ancient wine cellars; the basilica in Assisi, Italy, the hometown of St. Francis. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. Nicola: Oh, I love it. The crenellations along the roof were never intended to hide soldiers — they just symbolize power. 10,000 liter. Open daily until 19:30, but closes for about two hours in the early afternoon. Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? A grandiose church built around St. Francis' humble chapel, towers above the buildings of Santa Maria degli Angeli — the modern part of Assisi in the flat valley below the hill town — which marks the spot where Francis lived, worked, and died. We'll check in on some aging prosciutto, stone grind some polenta, and dine with a noble family. (12 Nov 2016). For this wine, it's the artful combination of aging in large, medium, and small oak barrels that gets the tannin levels just right. OK. Any pilgrimage site will be commercialized, and Assisi — which enthusiastically cashes in on the legacy of St. Francis — is no exception. A short and scenic drive south takes us through some of Italy's finest wine country. Today, 800 years later, I find the message of St. Francis still relevant. Born an hour [ago]. Francis lived in the hill town of Assisi. He went to the Vatican in Rome, asked for the pope's blessing to continue his work, and got it. In the Italian countryside, we'll see how prosciutto and pecorino are made, and hike down into ancient wine cellars. Rick: All the way back to… This is one of the artistic and religious highlights of Europe. In the Italian countryside, Rick connects with rustic, traditional culture: enjoying an agriturismo (farmhouse inn), seeing how prosciutto and pecorino cheese are made, and hiking down into deep and ancient wine cellars. These pigs are a rare breed brought back from the edge of extinction by people who care about traditional agriculture…people who really love their ham. In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made He taught by example. see our FAQ. I'm Rick Steves. He portrayed holy people expressing emotion as never before. Use the HTML below. Rick: Incredibile. The variety of birds represents the diverse flock of nature and humanity all worthy of one another's love. Heading deep down into the hill that Montepulciano is built upon, the temperature noticeably drops, and eventually we end up at street level of the lower town. This mill — with its ancient grindstones — has been producing flour for generations. Rick Steves' Europe | Episode | Assisi and Italian Country Charm. Joining a vintner, we descend a long staircase. Oh-ho, look at that! Rick: If that was bowling, it'd be very good. Francis loved nature as well as humanity. Travel with Rick on this video guide to Assisi, Italy and find out what to do on your next trip. As her family has for centuries, she lives in the manor house — and the family tree makes it clear: the Gori family has deep roots and goes back over 600 years. Holy relics were the "ruby slippers" of medieval Europe. The basilica is frescoed from top to bottom with scenes by the leading artists of the day: Cimabue, Giotto, Simone Martini, and Pietro Lorenzetti. Reservations are required. Balconies are tiny gardens. He lived without worldly goods and loved all of creation. With his teaching, Francis challenged the decadence of church government. Weight and price is agreed upon at the table. Today, while the poverty's gone, the traditions survive. And travelers who call in advance are welcome to visit and tour the wineries. His "slow down and smell God's roses" teaching drew a huge following. Nicola: It's the best part. Upstairs is the vast billiards room. And it survives to this day — with a handful of Franciscan friars living out his mission. In Assisi – the hometown of … Roberto: Ah, three years old. In the Italian countryside, we'll connect with rustic, traditional culture: enjoying an agriturismo (farmhouse inn), seeing how prosciutto and pecorino cheese are made, and hiking to the bottom of deep and ancient wine cellars. Title: The nave shows 28 scenes from the life of St. Francis — a mix of documented history and folk legend. Roberto: Basically. As a young man, Francis was living in a way that attracted followers. The ancient Romans went to great lengths to make this first-century b.c. To the faithful, relics had power — they helped answer prayers, win wars — and ultimately they helped you get to heaven. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Gazing at these content sheep, you can almost taste the pecorino cheese — which seems to be a part of every meal. Its humble elegance befits the saint who preached simplicity. He ends in Assisi - the hometown of St. Francis - which retains its spiritual aura to this day. Enrico: Baby Vino Nobile. Temple of Minerva — with its stately Corinthian columns — a centerpiece of their city. RICK STEVES’ EUROPE: Assisi And Italian Country Charm Consummate traveler, host and best-selling guidebook author Rick Steves returns for a ninth season of the travel series RICK STEVES' EUROPE. Top-grade prosciutto is cured by hanging in a cool room for about a year. As in many European old town centers, it's pedestrian-friendly and almost traffic-free. Nicola: About, uh…15 months. While this swan thinks this pool's made for him, it's actually a reservoir used to power the mill. Mary, until this fresco generally portrayed in control, has fainted in despair. Assisi has been a spiritual center since pre-Christian times. For generations, evenings ended here, beneath musty portraits — another reminder of the family's long and noble lineage. In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made Rick Steves' Europe | Assisi and Italian Country Charm | Season 9 | Episode 6 | WLRN In a land torn by war, Francis promoted peace. I commented with my few words of broken Italian on how beautiful the flowers were that this dear old lady was watering on her balcony. Rick: Oh, so more than two years. And along the way, pilgrims would stop here for a drink. The street ends at the Basilica of St. Francis. In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made Rick Steves' Europe | Assisi and Italian Country Charm | Season 9 | Episode 6 | WHYY The vineyards here produce some of the very best wines in the world. Assisi and Italian Country Charm Season 9 Episode 6 | 25m | Video has closed captioning. Around the year 1200, Francis, a simple friar from Assisi, was one such person. It's a grandiose Baroque church. And, like any proud farmer, he invites us into his home — not your everyday farmhouse — for a memorable taste.