Touring Through the 13th Century Town of Assisi – Part 2

Assisi, located in the St. Francis Basilica features countryside walks, towns, and trattorias, besides little churches.  Assisi is a fantastic place to visit in the lovely Umbrian hilltown, and it has plenty and more to experience. Touring this 12th-century town of Assisi means one will realise that Assisi is the Mecca for pilgrims and art fans. Tour buses come to Assisi to visit this medieval mystic monk whose name was Francesco. He was the son of a wealthy merchant who gave up his beautiful life, seeking spiritual bliss leading him to become the famous St. Francis of Assisi.

The Trail – St Francis’ Way

The popularity of St. Francis paved the way to visitors but is unknown to people visiting Camino de Santiago or Mont Blanc. In fact, it is also strange to many English-speaking countries in the world. Thus, there is a limited crowd allowing you to enjoy this beautiful route all by yourself. Even if you come across people, it will be just a few pilgrims, mostly Italians or Germans, and there may be a few others from the Catholic nations. There is the chance of losing your way on the trail as there are several confusing routes. It does not mean you can anticipate a big bunch of trekking companions to stay motivated on the journey. To help stay on track, pilgrims can find yellow and blue way-markers that are almost perfect showing them each step of this route from Rieti to Rome.

About the Assisi Heritage

Being the place honoring the birth of St. Francis, a Catholic Saint, who is one of the most popular in history. The main attraction here is the Basilica di San Francesco, the 13th-century Basilica that contains the sacred relics of Francis and life’s beautiful frescoes. There are seven more churches worth visiting for their beauty, history, and connection with Francis and Clare, his friend. The Assisi town features Roman ruins, sacred shrines, winding medieval streets, in all making a major Catholic pilgrimage destination. Today, in Italy, it is the most prominent tourist destinations.

Assisi has around 3000 inhabitants, but each year receives 4 to 5 million visitors to experience its beauty. As expected, this city now has transformed into a ‘touristy’ location, as it also includes many more sites that are worth seeing.  Outside the city walls, there are several sites which are frequented by pilgrims.

Basilica Land

St. Francis’s Basilica comprises of two churches that lay on each other which also includes a crypt of the Saint.

  • The lower basilica features a double front portal, a simple fascia ornate with a mosaic and a rose window.
  • The interior is well-decorated with frescoes. There is light filtering through the glass stained windows creating a suggestive ambience.
  • The upper basilica reveals St. Francis life cycle painted by maestro Giotto in frescoes. It also has the Testament, old and new, covering the beautiful murals by Torriti and Cimabue.

Another figure, profoundly influencing is Saint Clare; this Basilica has a white and pink stone façade divided into dedicated three horizontal cornices. The interior frescoes are engaging which even feature the remains of the Saint in the crypt through a window.