What to do in one day in Assisi?
A Special Medieval Village. Assisi is one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Umbria. Especially famous for being the birthplace of Saint Francis and Saint Clare, the village attracts thousands of faithful and tourists each year, thanks to its great artistic, archaeological and historical heritage. What to do in a day in Assisi? If you have little time in Italy don’t miss this post. Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patriciayou make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
Assisi has nothing to do with a metropolis; it is a small town in Umbria, known mainly for being the home of the illustrious Saint Francis, creator of the Order of Franciscans (as famous as he is). The noble and charitable figure of this saint has made this municipality, over the centuries, a symbol of peace and an esteemed meeting place for those who recognize the Catholic religion. One example is the various demonstrations organized every year, since the first peace march in 1961, by the philosopher Aldo Caprini. Also read our post How to go in the most beautiful cities near Rome! It’s worth it! Anyway, Assisi is not just Saint Francis. In fact, it has great historical and cultural value. If you are interested in religious tourism be sure to read the Post on Religious Tourism in Italy.
Our One-Day Itinerary…
Like many Umbrian cities, Assisi is not that big, which is why its itinerary allows you to complete almost all the sights in just one day. The ideal would be to visit Assisi on a weekend, to be able to get to know, with calm and tranquility, the beauties of this city: visit the most important monuments and enjoy a pleasant walk in the narrow streets of this charming medieval village. We will do it in just one day. Get to know the city of Assisi better! and learn how to get to Assisi from Rome by clicking here!
After introducing you about the village, we will organize the tour to discover the city, explaining what are the fundamental things to see. The advice is to dedicate at least one day to enjoy the main attractions well, without losing the opportunity to taste the great local cuisine in one of the typical restaurants. How about a Day Tour to Assisi and Orvieto from Rome?
1) What to do in a day in Assisi? DISCOVER THE BASILICA OF SAINT FRANCIS
Apparently, it is mandatory to start our itinerary starting from the heart of Assisi, that is, the Basilica of Saint Francis. The church was built in the 13th century, by order of Pope Gregory IX – a true masterpiece of architecture and also one of the treasures of Italian sacred art. The imposing complex, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, consists of two basilicas, built in two different historical moments: the Upper Basilica and the Lower Basilica, plus the crypt where the tomb of San Francisco is located. How about a 3-hour small group tour of Assisi and a visit to St. Francis Basilica?
The Upper and Lower Basilica
The Upper Basilica dates back to the Gothic period and contains wonderful collections of Giotto’s frescoes, which chronicle the life of the saint. The Lower Basilica is linked to the period of Romanesque art – in this basilica there is a medieval atmosphere, somewhat rough, with low ceilings and poor lighting.
2) What to do in a day in Assisi? VISIT THE MINERVA TEMPLE
After visiting the Basilica, in order to appreciate the medieval climate, we take Via San Francesco to reach the Piazza del Comune (“Town Square”), where the Temple of Minerva (ancient Roman sanctuary from the 1st century BC) is located. The Temple of Minerva, before becoming a religious monument, was a court that housed the prison cells underground. The classic facade is elegant and its interior is decorated with 17th century Baroque features.
Although these buildings belong to distant times, they are perfectly integrated with each other, forming a pleasant heterogeneous group. Here you can take a break to eat at one of the “osterias” in the historic center, mostly decorated in medieval style, and enjoy a great lunch with typical products from the region, such as pecorino cheese and truffle. Discover our section on Food in Italy!
3) What to do in a day in Assisi? MEET THE BASILICA OF SAINT CLARE
After being refilled, we continue our tour visiting the not less important Basilica of Saint Clare, built on top of a pre-existing basilica (dedicated to St. Gregory), which today houses inside the relics of the saint and the crucifix that spoke with St. Francis.
In Gothic style, the basilica was built with the typical pink stone of Mount Subasio. The atmosphere here is more welcoming, and it is possible to find the cloistered nuns. Also, the little square in front of the church is very graceful, ending on a terrace that presents tourists with a beautiful view of the Umbro valley.
4) What to do in a day in Assisi? VISIT THE CATHEDRAL OF SAINT RUFINUS
Moving further up, we arrive at the Cathedral of Saint Rufinus, an example of excellence in the Roman-Umbro style. The façade is typically Roman and is characterized by the main rose window, next to which appear two smaller ones and between the three gates, the three main entrances.
Underneath the large rose window it is possible to see the symbolism of the Evangelists. This is the cathedral where you can find the fountain where Francis and Clare were baptized. This is where the Good Friday procession usually leaves from.
5) What to do in a day in Assisi? VISIT ROCCA MAGGIORE
Returning with the tour, this time we go to Rocca Maggiore, a 1200s fortress built because of the wars with the city of Perugia. The castle dominates the top of the city and the entire valley that surrounds it – undoubtedly a spectacular panorama, which allows you to see Assisi from a privileged position.
6) What to do in a day in Assisi? VISIT BASILICA SANTA MARIA DEGLI ANGELI AND PORZIUNCOLA
Remembering that we have only one day available, in our last stage, we will visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli (Saint Mary of the Angels) and the Porziuncola (“little portion”). The basilica is one of the most important places in Saint Francis’ life history, both human and spiritual.
Source: Google Maps
Seventh largest Christian Church in the World
From 1600, it is considered the seventh largest Christian church in the world, in addition, it houses the Porziuncola, the main symbol of the Order of the Franciscan Friars.
Porziuncola became the first church of the Franciscan Order and represents the emblem of Franciscan simplicity. It was exactly here that Francis died, on the night of October 3, 1226, after composing the “Song of Creatures”. Overlooking the basilica, it can be said that our one-day itinerary ends in style.
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What to do in a day in Assisi? If there is a place capable of harboring a sense of peace of mind, incredible architectural beauty, a very old history and priceless works (practically an open-air treasure), this city is called Assisi. Experiencing Assisi is a kind of return to the origins, it is a place where you can feel completely renewed – of course advised to the faithful, but also to those who are looking for something, perhaps a little serenity.
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