This town of pink stones is the home of Saint Francis and Saint Claire as well as the home of famous medieval artists and the cradle of ancient Umbrian mysticism. We recommend you start your tour at the apex of the town and proceed down.
IN HALF A DAY
The Basilica of Santa Chiara – the founder of the Order of Saint Clare is buried here. Also to be admired is the crucifix which spoke to Saint Francis of Assisi. Piazza del Comune
– this piazza contains a mixture of medieval structures and Roman monuments. An interesting merging of the two is Santa Maria Sopra Minerva Church, which is a Tempio di Minerva (a Roman water distribution structure) from the 1st century B.C. with a catholic church from the 16th century inside.
The Basilica of San Francisco d’Assisi
– the center of Franciscan spirituality and a focal point for medieval European art, this is the final resting place of Saint Francis of Assisi. Founded by Pope Gregory IX, this double basilica contains several masterpieces from Italian medieval artists like Cimabue, Giotto, Simone Martini, Pietro Lorenzetti, Jacopo Torriti, and Pietro Cavallini. Frescoes depicting scenes from the Old Testament, the Gospels, the life of Saint Francis, and the development of the Franciscan Order are painted throughout the Basilica.
If you would like to learn more about the paintings and frescos you can purchase a one hour audio guided tour for €1.80.
Cathedral of San Rufino
WITH A LITTLE BIT MORE TIME
– this splendid Roman façade dominates the upper section of the town. San Damiano
– a church and monastery on the periphery of Assisi. This place was central to the lives of Saint Francis and Saint Clare.
Eremo delle Carceri
– a hermitage situated on Monte Subasio. This is an oasis of peace and a symbol of the high spirituality of Saint Francis and his brothers.
Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli
– a beautiful basilica situated a few kilometers from Assisi. It holds the Porziuncola, a sacred Franciscan item. It was here that the young Francis of Assisi accepted his mission, decided to live in poverty and started the Franciscan movement.