Valle di Assisi - 4 star Hotel Assisi - Spa Hotel Assisi - Resort Assisi

January is the month of good intentions, hopes, new beginnings. And what better purpose than a dive in art at the beginning of the year? Umbria is full of villages, towns and landscapes worthy of Impressionist paintings, and Assisi is certainly one of the most beautiful destinations.

Worldwide known as the homeland of Saint Francis, it preserves churches steeped in mysticism, medieval monuments and alleys running between glimpses of green nature. Visiting Assisi in one day is a pleasant way to inaugurate the new year with beauty in the eyes. So, let's start the tour!

 

The sacred side of Assisi

 

Homeland of Saint Francis, Assisi stands out for the large amount of sacred buildings, all perfectly preserved and full of charm. Your first tour’s stop should be the Basilica of San Francesco, built in 1230, only 4 years after the saint's death. The complex, from afar, appears as a majestic single stronghold, but, instead, it consists of two distinct churches: the upper and lower basilicas, in addition to the crypt with the tomb of St. Francis. Inside the basilica, you will stroll through the history of Italian art, admiring masterpieces by Cimabue, Giotto, the Lorenzetti, Simone Martini.

The Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Porziuncola is the second church linked to Saint Francis, so much that it was built to enclose and protect some important places in his life. First of all, the Porziuncola, an intimate church of the fourth century loved by the saint, who composed the Canticle of the Creatures here. In the Basilica there is also the Transit, a small stone room occupied by the infirmary of the convent, where St. Francis spent the last days of his life before dying on October 3rd 1226. A visit to the basilica's Rose Garden is also worth mentioning, the place where the saint used to roll over to overcome doubt and temptation.

The Basilica of Santa Chiara, a very faithful disciple of Saint Francis, is perhaps less known than the previous ones, but exudes the same, mystical, aura. The building is in Gothic-Umbrian style, with a plan of three naves, leading to the altar and the oratory. The church preserves some relics belonging to the saint and to Santa Chiara herself, buried in the crypt below the basilica.

 

The secular side of the town

 

Alongside the religious monuments, Assisi boasts interesting civil architecture such as those adorning Piazza del Comune. The imposing and square-shaped Torre del Popolo was built to host the family of the Capitano del Popolo family. Today it stands on the city skyline, bringing the locals back in time to every stroke of the ancient clock. Opposite the Fountain of the Three Lions, in Piazza del Comune, is the Palazzo dei Priori, built in 1275 and now the Town Hall.

Are you allergic to "classic" tours? No problem! Dive into the underground city: a guided tour will lead you to the discovery of Underground Assisi, from the Roman Forum to two Roman domus with paintings similar to the Pompeian paintings. The Domus Larario, one of the best preserved of antiquity, dates back to the period between the 1st century BC C. and the 1st century AD and is located below the Palazzo Giampè in Via Sant’Antonio, in the historic centre. The Domus of Propertius, built in the 1st century AD, rests under the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. Both have wall decorations, precious floors and beautiful mosaics.

If you can carve out some spare time for the Assisi tour, I strongly suggest you go up the slope leading to the Rocca Maggiore. The ancient fortress was built in different periods, but the first construction dates back to 1183, in the reign of Federico Barbarossa. Destroyed by a population riot, the fortress was rebuilt and enlarged starting from 1365. Since 1600 no one has stayed there, allowing us to fully enjoy its original splendour. Walking through centuries-old walls and admiring Assisi from such a height is certainly an experience synonymous with Beauty.

 

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