In thinking about some of the nearby towns we were interested in visiting, it was always a choice of the fast road with manic drivers or the slow road with curves, switchbacks but scenery galore for the passenger. I always tell the driver "Don't look!". Trying to stick with 'the joy is in the journey' for the most part we concluded that going to Assisi was as important as seeing Assisi. The slow road over the mountains won out.
We planned to come back via Todi if possible. One thing to always remember is that there are windows for everything. We 'could' get up early and make it into a town by 9am or so but that's not the point of a vacation. If one wanted to park in town, it's always necessary to get there early though. We often found that parking was either at the base of a hill town with a bus up into town or in town at small lots usually for 1.5-2 hours. That could be enough unless we wanted to have lunch in town. Lunch of course has its own window of about 2.5 hours. Do we sightsee or do we eat? If you know us, you know where we place our priority.
So off to Assisi we went, leaving Orivieto to climb over the hills to the east. It was a gloriously sunny day and we climbed and climbed. We saw very few cars which made it easier to try and pull off for a view and not having another car tailgating furiously.
While we were facing west there were some trees with brilliant colors, not New England bright but definitely autumn colors. It was a great ride.
Finally there was Assisi across the remains of sunflower fields. We have a good GPS which he calls Petunia, but she does have this way of finding unusual ways into towns. We passed several turnoffs, and as we were now on a divided highway, it was increasingly clear that she was taking us in on one of the last entrances on the east. OK, Petunia, have it your way.