Assisi is an Italian municipality of 28415 inhabitants in the province of Perugia in Umbria.
It is known to be the city where were born, lived and died St. Francis, patron and saint of Italy, and St. Clare. San Francesco d’Assisi and at the same time a delightful medieval town full which features characteristic corners and culinary specialties.
Assisi is beautiful to visit on foot, as it is the preferable way if you desire to capture every single historical detail of the city.
For those who reach Assisi by car it is advisable to leave the car in Santa Maria degli Angeli, a town located just below the city of Assisi, and then take the bus from there. The bus stop is close to the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeliche and leads to Assisi. It is also possible to use the minibusses inside the city walls since the city extends all up or down if you start your visit from above. The parking lots in Assisi are very expensive, but if you do not want to leave the car too far and you’re lucky enough you can try to park at the cemetery of the city that is located in the upper part of the city and reach from there the nearby and marvelous Basilica of San Francesco. You could also book a private taxi at a fixed price in order to enjoy your trip in the most comfortable and relaxing way and also to visit the fantastic neighboring places near Assisi.
1) The Basilica of San Francesco
The Basilica of San Francesco is located in Assisi, is the place which from 1230 preserves and guards the mortal remains of the seraphic saint Francis. The Basilica was commissioned by Pope Gregory IX and entrusted to the friars, it was built in the XIII century and is composed of two parts which are so different and yet complementary: the Lower Church and the Upper Church. According to tradition it was Francis himself who indicated the place where he wanted to be buried. It is the lower hill of the city where, usually, the “lawless” were buried. It is a must to start our tour here. The church, which was one of the fulcrum for the spread of Gothic in Italy, had multiple purposes. First of all it was the burial place of Francis (the founder of the friars), who was considered one of the most significant figures in the Christian history two years after his death. Secondly it was more closely linked to the papacy, which saw allies in the Franciscans, after initial distrust, as a way to strengthen their ties with the most humble and popular classes.
2) Basilica of Santa Chiara
The Basilica of Santa Chiara is an important place of worship in the historic center of Assisi. The church was built, after the death of St. Clare, between 1257 and 1265, around the ancient church of San Giorgio. executed by the architect Filippo da Campello. The architectural style is Gothic, and very closely resembles the almost contemporary upper basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi.
3) Cathedral of S. Rufino
Do not forget to stop at the Cathedral of S. Rufino, Assis martyr and patron. The interior of the church, of the 16th century, contains a Roman cistern, the baptismal font from which Francis and Clare were baptized, and the marvelous crypt of the Ugonian Basilica that dates back to the 12th century.
4) Rocca Maggiore
To enjoy the best view of Assisi reach Rocca Maggiore from which you will have a breathtaking view of the whole city and the valley. And do not forget to take pictures along the way!
WHAT TO EAT
Surely you cant go wrong with the food in Italy! Assisi has its specialties regarding food too.
You cannot leave Assisi without tasting 4 Assisane specialties:
-Ciauscolo, spreadable salami made out from a mixture of pork
-Umbricelli, (called dialectally umbrichi, umbrichelli or umbrichelle), big handmade spaghetti, with truffles or with pork
-Rocciata, a typical medieval sweet from Assisi, filled with apples, hazelnuts, walnuts, and raisin