Tuesday, March 12, 2013

St. Rita, Cascia and a Craft Store in Spoleto!

St. Rita of Cascia - incorrupt body

One of the things I absolutely was compelled to do when we visited Italy was to visit the shrine of one of my favorite saints, St. Rita of Cascia.  We departed from Rome early in the morning in order to catch the only train to Spoleto.  From there, we'd hop on a bus to Cascia.

While on the train, we befriended a really nice Italian girl named Eleonora.  Eleonora had a great sense of humor and really helped the travel time to pass quickly.  In fact, we had such a great experience with her, that we are all friends on Facebook now. :)

Brianna and Anthony with our new Italian friend, Eleonora.

Once we arrived in Spoleto, we had a two hour wait for our bus ride.  We took advantage of the opportunity and strolled around this adorable, sleepy little town.  And, lo and behold - what do you think I found there, down the street from the bus/train station?  A little sewing/embroidery store!!!  This little store carried tons of buttons, and a small selection of lace, trims, embroidery floss and the like.  I couldn't resist purchasing some of the unusual buttons and some lace from this sweet little shop.

Buttons galore!

Lace and trims!

Once we got on the bus, we enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the Umbrian country side as we trekked our way to St. Rita's shrine.

Umbria - view from the bus

Finally - we had arrived.  The shrine sits on top of a mountain-top, and in order to get to the top, you can either walk up the winding road or take a shuttle.  We opted for the shuttle because it was raining quite heavily that day.

St. Rita's Shrine - Cascia, Italy

St. Rita's Shrine - Cascia, Italy

A view of Cascia from the shrine (please excuse the foggy picture - it was raining!)

The shrine was breathtaking in every sense of the word.  St. Rita's incorrupt body is encased in a glass tomb in front of the church.  I can't express the joy I felt at finally being able to visit this saint that I have loved since I was a little girl.  All I can say is - it was amazing.

Where St. Rita's body is displayed.

St. Rita's incorrupt body.

St. Rita's incorrupt body.

Inside the shrine.

Look at the beautiful artwork on the ceiling.

The altar.

After we exited the church, we stopped by the gift shop where we purchased several souvenirs.  I purchased several mini pocket statues of St. Rita (among other things) and will be using them in future jewelry creations.
The shrine gift shop contains hundreds of souvenirs of St. Rita.

Because we were short on time, we only visited the shrine for a couple of hours, so unfortunately for us, we didn't get to see everything that we wanted to.  However, the next time I visit Italy, I will definitely plan to visit Cascia for at least a couple of days in order to be able to experience all that this little town has to offer.

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