XVIII



                      ASSISI

WAT HEN you get to Assisi-reached by a forty-
VV five minute motor drive down the Perugian
heights, across a fertile valley through which flows
the Tiber, and up a stiff pull to the city gates-you
may well imagine yourself back in San Marino, be-
cause of the precipitous streets, and their utter dis-
regard for direction.
  You will like this quaint old town with its medix-
val atmosphere. You will like the occasional glimpse
of a girl, coming down the stone steps that connect
streets of different altitudes, and the way she car-
ries a sack of grain upon her head, and the way
her pretty fingers curl beneath the handle of an
Etruscan vase! With eyes half closed you will pic-
ture all sorts of intrigues being acted among its
twisted alleyways, and you will know the frowning
Rocca, that immense gray ruin, which from its higher
perch keeps a sullen eye upon the town, was the
scene of unparalleled deviltry-or your imagination
has deteriorated.
  Among the famous people born here were the poet
Propertius; also the founder of the Franciscan mon-
                        206