Outside Resources and Notes


The Italian Lira (ITL) is obsolete. It was replaced with the Euro (EUR) on January 1, 1999.One EUR is equivalent to 1936.27 ITL.

The - The Currency Converter will show you how the dollar converts to the euro/


Since, during this trip, we will come in close contact with the land where St. Francis lived, worked and died, regardless of your opinion or belief, it enriches everyone to take a little more time to find out more about who he, born Giovanni Bernardone and renamed Francis, became. The stories told about him are not just interesting as stories themselves - factual or not - but represent religious or mystical (or as some call t now- `third brain thinking') teaching stories, as were the parables that Jesus taught, and in many ways these are a continuances.

(The short biography by Pastor Richard E. Edmonds Snohomish, Washington)

Francis of Assisi was born Giovanni Bernardone in the late 12th century into a family of wealth and prosperity.

He grew up in the Italian city of Assisi.

As a young man, he was popular with his peers and known for his sense of humor. While he had dreams of becoming a troubadour or knight, he expected to follow his father into the trade as a clothing merchant. However, a turn in Francis' life was to take place. In a war between Assisi and the neighboring city of Perugia, he was taken captive and held in prison for a year. During this time, he became severely ill and his mind began to turn to religion. Upon his release, he returned to Assisi, but he was not the same young man who had left. Having become more contemplative, Francis found no comfort in his family's wealth and privilege.

Francis had a dream in which he believed that God was calling him to repair his church and interpreted this to mean that he was to repair the church in San Damiano near Assisi. Francis was soon to renounce all of his possessions and his family treasures including his clothes - a decision which disturbed his family deeply. Dressing as a beggar, he was joined by companions who were called brothers. They rebuilt the church of San Damiano and traveled throughout central Italy preaching for people to turn from materialism to Christ. They worked or begged for their food. When there were eleven brothers, Francis gave them a short Rule and received approval from the pope to form a brotherhood which Francis called the Friars Minor.

Francis called for simplicity of life; poverty and humility before God. With the brothers, he worked to care for the poor. One of his first actions after his conversion was to care for lepers. Thousands were drawn to his sincerity and joy. His named has lived on respectfully, and the University of St. Francis is named after him.


The Prayer of Saint Francis

"O Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light, and
Where there is sorrow, joy.
Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand; to be loved
as to love; for it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life."

As one theologian wrote (paraphrased)

"The simple prayer of St. Francis of Assisi provides for us a mold in which to cast our own life's conduct and character. It provides a blueprint upon which to pattern our living in our thoughts, speech and actions within our day to day relationships with our fellow beings and with all life around us. Therefore, the prayer of St. Francis is a precious document for us, an indispensable, invaluable frame of reference by which to judge our own lives, and referring to which we can do the necessary to bring about the needed alterations and modifications for the upliftment and purification of our own daily life."


Though on this trip you will come upon the works of many great artist, one artist in particular you should know is Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (December 7, 1598 – November 28, 1680) who was a pre-eminent Baroque sculptor and architect of 17th century Rome.

On this trip these are some of his works you might be able to see, some you can't avoid seeing.

Read up on him here:

Books that might be useful:

Book Description
There is something for just about everyone in Florence and Tuscany. From viewing some of the world's greatest Renaissance art to wandering around designer boutiques. Discover a whole new side of Florence and Tuscany with the Eyewitness Travel Guide. This guide will give you practical information without any hassle. All of the important towns and other places to visit are described individually. Within each town or city, there is detailed information on important buildings and other sites. Make the most of your trip with the Eyewitness Travel Guide.

Product Description
Who but Rick Steves can tell travelers how to stroll the same streets walked by Michelangelo, explore world-reknown art museums, or sample Tuscan cuisine? With Rick Steves’ Florence and Tuscany 2008, travelers can experience Steves' favorite destinations in Florence, including the Duomo, the Uffizi, the Bargello, and the Ponte Vecchio — economically and hassle-free. Completely revised and updated, this guide includes opinionated coverage of both famous and lesser-known sights, friendly places to eat and sleep, suggested day plans, walking tours and trip itineraries, and clear instructions for smooth travel anywhere by car, train, or foot. America’s number one authority on travel to Europe, Steves' time-tested recommendations for safe and enjoyable travel in Europe have been used by millions of Americans in search of their own unique European travel experience.

Walk With Me : A Self Guided Audio Walking Tour of Florence, Italy (Audio Cassette)
Walking tour on 60-minute cassette tape. A self guided walking tour covering the heart of Florence from the magnificent dome to the Pitti Palace. This is a full day's tour or several shorter walks. A large print map is included with transportation, toilets, ATMs and eating arrangements clearly marked. Narration is clear and interesting. The Cicerone shows the traveler the beginning work of the Renaissance and tells of the genius that created the famous and elegant Dome. He shows us where the Elves and Goblins waged a war so ferocious that all of Europe talked about it. See where the Medici had their humble beginnings in the medieval section and the Palace they finally ruled in. See the square where Michelangelo put his famous David and the infamous Bonfire of the Vanities threatened to destroy Florence's great art. Florence is like no other city in the world. The Cicerone helps us see why. Other cities are also available.

Italian English Bilingual Visual Dictionary (BILINGUAL VISUAL DICTIONARY)
Dorling Kindersley makers of the popular Eyewitness Travel Guides have created an interesitng little volume that works as both a visual dictionary and vocabulary builder. Using full color photographs and diagrams, the book's 360 pages offer fairly comprehensive groupings of nouns with appropriate verbs and some idiomatic phrases for the different categories of People (body parts, expressions, family) Appearance (clothing and grooming), Health (ailments, exercise), Home (house, workshop, decorating, gardening), Services (emergency, banking, telephone etc.), Shopping(markets, florist, pharmacy, etc.), Food (fruits, vegetables, dairy, etc.), Eating Out(restaurant, breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc.) Study (school, science, math etc.), Work (office, computer, farm, etc.), Transportation (roads, cars, trains, buses, planes etc.), Sports (Soccor, basketball, hockey etc.), Leisure (arts, music, games, outdoor activities, camping, etc.), Environment (Space, the earth, landscape, plants, animals, etc.), and reference( time, numbers, weights and measures,maps, useful phrases etc.). The book also includes a full index of Italian to English and English to Italian words cross-referenced with the page number where they appear in the book.