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Sitting across a wide valley from its one-time rival Perugia, Assisi, too, commands the top of a ridge line, its streets winding and following the lay of the land. Beginning as an Etruscan settlement, it was Romanized, then during the 12th century a Ghibelline stronghold opposed to Guelph Perugia. But the town is most famed for its native son Saint Francis and his contemporary Santa Chiara (Saint Clare). Although badly damaged in a 1997 earthquake, the town has been substantially restored. The famed Basilica of Saint Francesco dominates one end of town, its huge church and convent looming over the rural valley below. The upper and lower ...

Sitting across a wide valley from its one-time rival Perugia, Assisi, too, commands the top of a ridge line, its streets winding and following the lay of the land. Beginning as an Etruscan settlement, it was Romanized, then during the 12th century a Ghibelline stronghold opposed to Guelph Perugia. But the town is most famed for its native son Saint Francis and his contemporary Santa Chiara (Saint Clare). Although badly damaged in a 1997 earthquake, the town has been substantially restored. The famed Basilica of Saint Francesco dominates one end of town, its huge church and convent looming over the rural valley below. The upper and lower churches are famed for their murals by Giotto, Cimabue and Martini. Closer to the center of town but also perched on an edge, is the 13th-century Basilica of Santa Chiara. Clare ran away from home to join Francis and it was he who urged her to start the Order of the Poor Clares. The transcept contains frescoes of the school of Giotto and relics of Saints Chiara and Francesco. The Eremo delle Carceri — the hermitage of Saint Francis — is off one side of town in a valley. In another valley below town, the village of Santa Maria degli Angeli has the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli (also called the Porziuncola), the church where Saint Francis worshiped and died.

Stillman Rogers
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Stillman Rogers has written more than two dozen guidebooks, including Adventure Guide to Canada's Atlantic Provinces, Guide to Eastern Canada, and Adventure Guide to the Chesapeake.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located in province of Perugia, in the Umbria region and on the western flank of Monte Subasio in central Italy.
  • Language: Italian
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring and fall are best; midsummer is crowded and hot.