Like Orvieto, Assisi is located in the central region of Umbria, and as part of a custom tour could readily be included as a day trip or overnight between Rome and Florence.
As the birthplace of Saint Francis, Assisi has been a popular pilgrimage destination for centuries. The basilica dedicated to the saint is the focal point, with its beautiful paintings by Giotto, Cimabue, and others. The upper and lower basilicas each have their own peaceful quality encouraging quiet meditation and prayer. Perhaps the most moving space is the smallest; the candlelit chapel below the lower basilica holds the tomb of the saint, often called “Il Povera,” the little poor one.
Assisi is home to other special churches, including the Basilica di Santa Chiara and Santa Maria sopra Minerva, which occupies a former Roman temple. On the plain below Assisi, we find the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli (Saint Mary of the Angels), a lovely spacious church (the seventh largest in the world) that shelters the Porziuncola, the humble chapel where Francis founded his order of Friars Minor.
Assisi, a remarkably well preserved medieval town, is a delight to explore. Hilly, and winding, the streets can be challenging at times, but if one takes the time, there is much to discover, including shops, restaurants, the Piazza del Commune, two castles, museums, and much more. We have found charming accommodations in Assisi, some with lovely views of the valley below.
Assisi is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. UNESCO’s Assisi page can be found here. *Some rights reserved. When you are ready for your custom tour, call us–800.498.8915. A real person will answer! Or fill out the contact form below and click “Submit.” For more on how we create custom tours of Italy, see our earlier post, Creating a Custom Tour. More of our “Exploring Possibilities” blog posts can be found here on the right sidebar under “Recent Posts.” We will continue to add new posts at least once a week.