Assisi is a town and comune of Italy in the province of Perugia in the Umbria region, on the western flank of Monte Subasio. It was the birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order in the town in 1208, and St. Clare (Chiara d'Offreducci), the founder of the Poor Sisters, which later became the Order of Poor Clares after her death. The 19th-century Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows was also born in Assisi.

UNESCO collectively designated the major monuments and urban fabric of Assisi as a World Heritage Site.

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Touristic Map of Assisi PDF (13.4 MB).

Main sights in Assisi

  1. The Basilica of Saint Francis and the Sacro Convento. The basilica complex is composed of two churches built one above the other, the lower one dating from 1228-1230 and the upper one from 1230-1253 and a crypt dug in 1818 which houses the Saint's tomb. The Lower Basilica was decorated by the greatest painters of the 13th and 14th centuries: Cimabue, Giotto, the Lorenzetti brothers and Simone Martini. The stained glass windows are especially beautiful. The Upper Basilica is adorned by Giotto's frescos illustrating the life of St. Francis. There are also works by Cimabue, Cavallini and Torriti. The monastery houses a remarkable "Treasury" composed of rare illuminated manuscripts and the Perkins collection.
  2. Via San Francesco. Along this street there are the 13th century House of the Maestri Comacini, the Oratorio dei Pellegrini (with 15th century frescos), Palazzo Giacobetti (Vallemani) with the Municipal Art Gallery (Pinacoteca Comunale) containing frescos from various schools, the Monte Frumentario (13th century) and "Fonte Oliviera" (16th century).
  3. Piazza del Comune. The Roman Temple of Minerva (dating from the 1st century B.C.), the 13th century Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, the Torre del Popolo, completed in 1305, and the Palazzo dei Priori (14th century).
  4. The Roman Forum. It is located below Piazza del Comune and encompasses the original Roman paving and the base of the temple of Minerva.
  5. Chiesa Nuova It was built in 1615 on the remains of a building believed to be the house of St. Francis' family. St.Francis was supposedly born in the nearby Oratorio di San Francesco Piccolino.
  6. Basilica of Saint Claire. It is an example of Italian Gothic architecture. It was constructed between 1257-1265 and contains precious paintings dating from the 12th - 14th centuries and the famous Crucifix venerated by St. Francis at San Damiano. The body of St. Claire is preserved in the crypt.
  7. Cathedral of St. Rufino.The impressive Romanesque facade dating from 1140 is adorned with three rosewindows and symbolic sculptures. The interior was altered in the 16th century, but there is still the baptismal font where St. Francis and St. Claire were baptized. The Cappella del Sacramento, the wooden choir, the Roman cistern, the crypt and the museum are points of interest.
  8. The Church of Santo Stefano (13th century) in one of the most picturesque corners of the town
  9. The Church of San Giacomo de Muro Rupto (11th century).
  10. The romanesque Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, first cathedral of Assisi
  11. The Church of San Pietro with its elegant facade and original dome
  12. The Rocca Maggiore, typical example of medieval military architecture; from the top you can enjoy a breathtaking view.

Surroundings of Assisi

  • S. Maria degli Angeli. This suburb of Assisi is about 5 kms. away and boasts an imposing basilica constructed between 1569 and 1679 and crowned by the magnificent dome designed by Alessi. It encloses the Porziuncola (the nucleus of the first Franciscan monastery and the place where St. Claire received the Francican cowl from St. Francis in 1211) and the Cappella del Transito where St.Francis died on 3rd October 1226. To the side of the basilica is the Chapel of the Roses with frescos by Tiberio d'Assisi. The Museum annex contains works by the Maestro di San Francesco, Giunta Pisano and others.
  • S. Damiano is a Franciscan shrine about 1,5 km from Assisi, built on the spot where St. Francis heard the voice of Christ and where he wrote the Canticle of the Creatures. The convent founded by St. Claire is still intact.
  • The Hermitage (Eremo delle Carceri) is an oasis of peace and tranquillity in the midst of the woods of Mt. Subasio (4,5 kms. from Assisi).
  • The Sanctuary of Rivotorto (4,5 kms. from Assisi) - Here the "hovel of St. Francis" is preserved in memory of the first Franciscan community.
  • The Abbey of S. Benedetto on Mt. Subasio is an ancient Benedictine settlement about 7 kms. from Assisi with two Romanesque crypts.
  • At Rocca S. Angelo (11 kms. from Assisi) there is an old Franciscan monastery. In its church there are paintings by followers of Giotto and painters from the Umbrian school.
The content of this page (both text and images) is extracted from Wikipedia and from the Comune di Assisi website.


Vis4 s.r.l. Perugina, l'arte del gusto Ordine degli Ingegneri - Provincia di Perugia
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