Assisi is the birthplace of Saint Francis, who made the town famous when he created the Franciscan religious order in 1208.
Today, the city is filled with religious artifacts, historic churches and a cathedral that has the tomb of St. Francis and site of many a pilgrimage. It is simply a must see for tourists visiting Italy looking for some historical richness.
Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The amazing Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi is an impressive and massive church, which houses the remains of St. Francis.
The Basilica was heavily damaged by an earthquake in 1997. Impressive repairs and reconstruction of the Basilica has given visitors and tourists an amazing look at the frescos and paintings that have been brought back to their former glory.
Basilica di San Francesco The impressive basilica built over the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi in the early 13th century is one of Italy’s – and the world’s – most important pilgrimage destinations. Pope Gregory IX laid the first stone the day after St. Francis was canonized, on July 17, 1228.
Cathedral of San Rufino Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, the cathedral of San Rufino has wonderful examples of early medieval stone carving. Animals form corbels, mythical beasts climb pilasters, delicate foliage entwines capitals, saints and their symbols guard doorways.
Rocca Maggiore From the Piazza di San Rufino, the old Via Santa Maria delle Rose ascends to the Rocca Maggiore, a picture-perfect castle high above the town.
Tempio di Minerva The portico of the Temple of Minerva dates from the first century BC and was converted into the church of Santa Maria della Minerva in 1539.
Santa Chiara The Gothic church dedicated to St. Clare was built in 1265 to honor the enthusiastic disciple of St. Francis who founded the order of Clarissines or Poor Clares.
Piazza del Comune Piazza del Comune is the town’s main square, as it was in Roman times when it was the forum.
Pinacoteca Comunale Palazzo Vallemani houses the town’s art collection, much of it from decommissioned Assisi churches and convents.
Le Carceri In a charming location east of Assisi, in a small wood of holm-oaks above a ravine between the bare rock faces of Monte Subasio, is the hermitage of Le Carceri where St. Francis retired for his devotions.