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Assisi, where art and spirituality go hand in hand

Who have fallen in love with Franco Zeffirelli's movie “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” and would like to wander once in their lifetime through the ancient streets of Assisi

Founded by the Umbrians around 1000 BC, Assisi stands on the western slope of Monte Subasio and has preserved its narrow lanes, huge gates and charming stone buildings; besides being an extraordinary hill town, it is also home to the mother church of the Franciscan Order: the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, where the remains of the good-hearted friar are still kept.

Visible for miles around, Assisi's iconic Basilica is a top destination for people interested in both its art and spiritual significance and although heavily damaged by the terrible earthquakes of 1997, it was promptly restored and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 2000.

Assisi's Top 10 Attractions

The Basilica di Santa Chiara – it dates back to the 13th century and houses the remains of Santa Chiara d'Assisi, friend and follower of St. Francis.

The Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli – it enshrines the Porziuncola – the little church where St. Francis understood his vocation.

The Temple of Minerva – it is now a church dedicated to Mary but retains its splendid pillared facade with six Corinthian columns dating back to Roman times.

The Roman Forum - it is located underneath Piazza del Comune and is accessible by a series of passageways and tunnels.

Assisi's Cathedral – it was built in the 12th century, partly over a Roman cistern and has an impressive facade featuring friezes, griffins and lions.

The Chiesa Nuova – it was constructed in 1615 on the spot reputed to be the birthplace of St. Francis.

The Rocca Maggiore – it is a massive fortress built in the 14th century and expanded a century after; it offers breathtaking views of Perugia and the valleys below.

The Convent of San Damiano - it stands just outside the walls of Assisi and is mainly known as the place where St. Francis received his miraculous calling (1205) and St. Clare died (1253).

Saint Francis Woodland – it covers the slopes of Monte Subasio behind the Basilica di San Francesco and was opened to the public only 3 years ago; it is a place of incomparable beauty and peace.

The Carceri Hermitage - (about 3,5 km away) it is well worth visiting, both for its Medieval architecture and for the enchanting scenery.

by S. C.
03 march 2014, Food & Fun > Travel