Assisi Things to Do

  • Basilica San Francesco
    Basilica San Francesco
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  • Courtyard of Basilica
    Courtyard of Basilica
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  • Backside of upper Basilica
    Backside of upper Basilica
    by Roeffie

Most Recent Things to Do in Assisi

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    The Priors' Palace

    by croisbeauty Updated Jan 24, 2015

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    In medieval Italy cities were also the states and as such had its administration. In large and important cities-states usually ruled the despots showing their ruthless dictatorial powers. In smaller towns the power was held by the local nobility, through so-called "podesta", who carried out their will and protected their own interests, at the expense of virtually disenfranchised citizens of the lower classes.
    The increasing wealthy new classes of merchants, craftsmen, ship-owners, who were of non-noble origin, wanted to participate in the government and so protect their interests and acquired wealth. As the result was establishment of new levers of power in the person of "Priori" and "Capitano del Popolo".
    Priori - first citizens - were representatives of each main guilds in the city administration. In 1540, after "The Salt War", Pope Paul III renamed "priori" into "Keepers of Ecclesiastical Obedience", and Palazzo dei Priori became the seat of the papal legate, the new governor of the city.
    "Capitano del Popolo" (Captain of the People), was an administrative title by which the new classes of wealthy citizens were able to acquire a role in the communal administration to balance that of the nobles (potents), represented by the "podesta". Captain of the people was actually a chief magistrate of a city state.
    The Palazzo dei Priori and Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo stands one next to another on the left side of the Piazza del Comune.

    Palazzi dei Priori e Capitano del Popolo
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    Chiesa di San Pietro

    by croisbeauty Updated Jan 24, 2015

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    When the front facade would not be adorned with three large rose windows, it would be hard to conclude that this is a sacred object. The church was built by the Benedictines still in the tenth century but it was reconstructed several times and its current appearance, in the Romanesque-Gothic style, dates from the 13th century.
    On the ground floor facade there are three portals which corresponds with three rose windows in the upper row, which is a common style in the construction of religious buildings. The main portal dates from the 12th century. In addition to the church is a short square bell tower which rises up closes to the apse
    On a large square, in front of the church, is a rack with with the bell but about it I couldn't collect any information.

    Chiesa di San Pietro Chiesa di San Pietro
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    Basilica di S. Chiara

    by croisbeauty Updated Jan 24, 2015

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    Chiara Offreduccio (1194-1253) was one of the first followers of San Francesco's learning and preaching. She lived in the house next to the Cathedral of San Rufino, in which St.Francis regularly held sermons. St.Claire founded the Order of Poor Ladies, which is now commonly call the Clarisses or Minoresses. St.Claire wrote The Rule of Life, and it was the first monastic rule, in the whole history of Christianity, written by a woman.
    Basilica of St. Clare was built in the second half of the 13th century, representing remarkable example of Italian Gothic. The church dominates the biggest and the most beautiful town square, which is a favorite gathering place for many pilgrims, from all over the world, who regularly visit Assisi.
    The interior, which I couldn't seen because the church was closed during my day-trip visit, contain the crypt where the remains of St.Claire are contained in a glass coffin. There is also a painting "Scenes from the Life of St.Claire", probably a work of Cimabue.
    At the side of the Basilica stands the imposing Monastery of the Poor Clarisses.

    Basilica di Santa Chiara Monastero di Santa Chiara rear side buttresses
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    The Cathedral of S. Rufino

    by croisbeauty Updated Jan 24, 2015

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    San Rufino, located on the homonymous sguare, is the Cathedral of Assisi. The church is dedicated to Rufinus of Assisi, the patron saint of the city and its first bishop. It is said that in 238 AD the town was converted to Christianity by bishop Rufino, who was martyred at Costano, nearby Perugia. According to available sources the cathedral was built on the site where previously used to be three older churches. The Cathedral dated back to the mid 12th century and was built in Umbrian Romanesque style, with a facade that adorn three rose windows above the three portals.
    The Cathedral of Assisi has a significant place in the history of Christianity because it is where both saints, San Francesco and Santa Chiara, were baptized. Here Francesco di Bernardone (St. Francis) held preaching, spreading the doctrine that church must be humble, simple and in the service of the faithful. It is the place where Chiara Offreduccio (St.Claire), after hearing Francis preaching, decided to devote her life to Christian faith.
    To the side of the Cathedral stands a massive stone bell-tower (now under reconstruction), built previous to the church in the 11th century, which almost look like an defending tower.
    From the church you can go through to Museo Capitolare which contains the important works of Alunno, Matteo de Gualdo and Puccio Capanna.

    Catedrale di San Rufino Catedrale di San Rufino
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    Ancient streets of Assisi

    by Roeffie Written Aug 10, 2014

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    The streets of Assisi are very clean and beautiful and some of them are very steep. The houses are built in a robust style with mostly natural stones.

    The town is full of tourists, but still is very peacefully and you never get the idea it is crowded with tourists.

    I like it a lot and hope to visit again to make a deep dive into this town instead of a 1 day visit.

    A fountain with cool water on a hot day! A lot of holy statues in or on houses. Time for a nap! A steep quiet street A shop in Via San Francesco
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    Santa Maria Sopra Minerva

    by Roeffie Updated Aug 10, 2014

    The front of this church/temple was built in 1st century BC. Today's interior is in baroque style and finds it's origin in 17th century.

    The interior is beautiful and the exterior is impressive to see. It is kind of a strange combination to find a catholic church built on fundaments of the roman empire.

    Santa Maria Sopra Minerva Inside Santa Maria Sopra Minerva Inside Santa Maria Sopra Minerva Inside Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
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    Oratorio dei Pellegrini

    by Roeffie Written Aug 10, 2014

    This an old Chapel on Via San Francesco. It is very small, but has got beautiful murals on the inside. You are likely to pass this without seeing it. Entrance is free. I don't know much about the history of the place and also could not find a lot about it.

    The murals should be painted around the 1500's.

    Oratorio dei Pellegrini
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    Basilica di San Francesco

    by Roeffie Updated Aug 10, 2014

    The Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi (Italian Basilica di San Francesco) is the mother church of the Franciscans. The Roman Catholic Church is since 2000 a World Heritage Site by the United Nations as part of the registration number 990 (Assisi, Basilica of San Francesco and other Franciscan sites).

    The basilica is much bigger then what you see at first glance. You should definitely visit the church and go in. The murals are incredibly beautiful.

    You can see the possessions of St. Francis in the basement, which is not more than an old worn cloak and old slippers. Very impressive!

    Warning! Be aware of the fact that you have decent clothing, otherwise you are not allowed in. For woman: At least covered shoulders and skirts preferably over the knees. For man also covered shoulders.

    Basilica San Francesco Courtyard of Basilica Backside of upper Basilica Dancing and singing youth from all over the world. View on Piazza San Francesco Inferiore
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    Monastero di San Giuseppe

    by croisbeauty Updated Nov 4, 2013

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    San Giuseppe nunnery was formed from two separate communities, Sant'Apollinare and San Paolo, each of which was established outside Assisi. One is the community of female penitents, that originally settled at the Eremo di Sant Apollinare, then later on established Monastero di Sant Apollinare here on this site in 1264. The other community of Benedictine nuns, originally from San Paolo delle Abbadesse, moved to the adjacent site in 1330.
    San Paolo was suppressed in 1442 because of the nuns' poor behavior, and its property was transferred to the community of Sant'Apollinare. The community of Sant Apollinare was suppressed in 1866 and since 1897 this complex became the Monastero delle Benedittine di San Giuseppe.
    There are two churches inside the complex of San Giuseppe and the nunnery also offers accommodation.

    Monastero di San Giuseppe
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    Piazza del Comune

    by croisbeauty Updated Nov 4, 2013

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    Piazza del Comune (the Main Square of the town) is situated at the heart of the town and built on the site of the ancient Roman forum. The square is surrounded by ancient medieval buildings, and a fountain stands in the middle.
    To the side of the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, a turreted the 13th century building, stands the beautiful Municipal Tower from the 14th century in which the "Bell of Lauds" was placed in 1926.
    Museo Civico contains an extesive collection of both Etruscan and Roman artefacts.

    Piazza del Comune Museo Civico
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    The Basilica of St. Francis

    by croisbeauty Updated Nov 3, 2013

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    This is the look of the Upper Basilica when approaching from direction of Via San Francesco. The huge and beautiful rose window dominates the front facade which is, besides it, very simple designed.
    This is the holy place, by all means, always crowded by pilgrims coming here from whole the world. When strolling around the variety of languages can be heard.
    The Upper Basilica is situated in so-called Piazza Superiore..

    Piazza Superiore Basilica di San Francesco
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    The Basilica of St. Francis

    by croisbeauty Updated Nov 3, 2013

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    The Lower and the Upper Basilica are conected by one little square where the souveniers shop is situated.
    On the other part, there is a Museum and the gallery of art. Below it you can see the colonaded courtyard of the Sacred Convent which is closed for the visitors. Too bad because it looks really very attractive..

    Sacred Convent Sacred Convent
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    Chiesa Nuova

    by croisbeauty Updated Nov 2, 2013

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    A very beautiful Chiesa Nuova (the New Church) is situated just a foot from the Piazza del Comune. This Greek-cross shaped Baroque church has been erected in 1615 on commission of King Philip III of Spain on the site of the presumed home of San Francesco. During visit to Assisis in 1613, Antonio de Trejo, The Spanish Vicar General of the Franciscans was saddened when he saw the original home of St. Francis becoming dilapidated.
    According to tradition, San Francesco was born in the place of the actual contigous Oratorio di San francesco Piccolino.
    The bronze statues in Piazza Chiesa Nuova, by Roberto Joppolo, depicts Pietro di Bernardone and Modonna Pica, the parents of St. Francis.

    Chiesa Nuova Monument to parents of San Francesco
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    Fontana dei Tre Leoni

    by croisbeauty Updated Nov 2, 2013

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    The main square of Assisi (Piazza del Comune) features large public fountain erected in 1762 by Giovanni Martinucci. It is called "Fontana dei Tre Leoni" (the Fountain of Three Lions). The fountain is favorite meeting point for young Assisians and usual break and resting point for the visitors after strolling around....

    Fontana dei Tre Leoni

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    Visit the Basilica San Francesco

    by Beausoleil Updated May 26, 2013

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    St. Francis of Assisi is famous and many people journey to Assisi to visit the Basilica there. It is well worth the trip whether for religous or artistic reasons . . . or simply for sightseeing. The church itself is amazing since the inside is covered with frescoes. The views from the basilica are truly wonderful since the church is perched on top of the highest hill in the area. You can see for miles.

    The official web site is mostly in Italian but if you scan through it, there are some English links and schedules that are either in English or easily readable in Italian. Official Web Site of St. Francis of Assisi

    St. Francis Basilica through the gate The Piazza with St. Francis of Assisi Church
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