Panorama of the town of “Assisi, Italy” from Mt Subasio
Assisi - the main sights
Basilica of St. 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, plus a crypt dug in 1818 to house the Saint's tomb. The Lower Basilica was decorated by the greatest painters of the 13 C and 14 C: Cimabue, Giotto, the Lorenzetti brothers and Simone Martini. The stained glass windows are especially beautiful. The Upper Basilica is adorned by Giotto's frescoes 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.
Via S. Francesco
On this street are the 13 C House of the Maestri Comacini, the Oratorio Temple of Minerva dei Pellegrini (with 15 C frescos), Palazzo Giacobetti (Vallemani) with the Municipal Art Gallery (Pinacoteca Comunale) containing frescos from various schools, the Monte Frumentario (13 C) and Fonte Oliviera (16 C).
Piazza del Comune
The Roman Temple of Minerva (dating from the 1st century B.C.), the 13 C Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, the Torre del Popolo, completed in 1305, and the Palazzo dei Priori (14 C). The Roman Forum is located below Piazza del Comune and encompasses the original Roman paving and the base of the temple of Minerva.
This church 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.
Basilica of St. Clare
This church is an example of Italian Gothic architecture. It was constructed between 1257-1265 and contains precious paintings dating from the 12 C - 14 C and the famous Crucifix venerated by St. Francis at San Damiano. The body of St. Clare is preserved in the crypt.
Cathedral of St. Rufino
The Duomo of San Rufino looks out onto the Piazza del Duomo. The impressive Romanesque facade dating from 1140 is adorned with three rose-windows and symbolic sculptures. The interior was altered in the 16 C, but there is still the baptismal font where St. Francis and St. Claire were baptised. The Cappella del Sacramento, the wooden choir, the Roman cistern, the crypt and the museum are points of interest.
Chianina oxen at the fountain in the Piazza del Duomo, Assisi 19 C
A typical example of mediaeval military architecture with a splendid view from the top.
Other monuments include the Church of Santo Stefano (13 C) in one of the most picturesque corners of the town and the Romanesque Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, first cathedral of Assisi.
S. Maria degli Angeli
This suburb of Assisi is about 5 km away and is the location of 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. Clare received the Franciscan cowl from St. Francis in 1211) and the Cappella del Transito where St. Francis died on 3 October 1226. To the side of the basilica is the Chapel of the Roses with frescoes by Tiberio d'Assisi. The Museum annex contains works by the Maestro di San Francesco, Giunta Pisano and others.
San 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.
Eremo delle Carceri
The convent founded by St. Claire is still intact. The Hermitage (Eremo delle Carceri) is an oasis of peace and tranquility in the midst of the woods of Mt. Subasio (4.5 kms. from Assisi).
More about L'Eremo delle Carceri.
Sanctuary of Rivotorto
Here, 4.5 km from Assisi, the "hovel of St. Francis" is preserved in memory of the first Franciscan community.
Abbey of San Benedetto
On Mt. Subasio there is an ancient Benedictine settlement about 7 km from Assisi with two Romanesque crypts.
At Rocca Sant'Angelo (11 km from Assisi) there is an old Franciscan monastery. In its church are paintings by followers of Giotto and painters from the Umbrian school.
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