Saturday, June 5
Today we split into two groups: one climbed a mountain with a cross on the top, the other stayed below. They also hiked up to the site to which the monks are supposed to be moving: an old Carmelite monastery on the side of a mountain overlooking Norcia. It is nowhere near the cross at the peak, but is a much quieter and more contemplative place for monastic life than in the city of Norcia proper. Those who skipped the hike had, instead, an in-depth tour of the monastery where we assisted at Mass. Climbing the mountain took about four hours, with a few breaks. Once we reached the top, we had lunch and then we made our way down the mountain to get back in time for dinner. It took about two hours to get down. The view at the top was amazing. You could see all of Norcia and some surrounding towns. In the distance all around us we could see snowcapped mountains.