Astonishing Assisi

Basilica di San Francesco, Assisi, Italy
Basilica di San Francesco, Assisi, Italy

Astonishing Assisi, although we were only able to spend an afternoon is the small medieval town we are determined to return one day and stay for at least a few nights in this enchanting place.  We’ve said it more than once but this town is at the very top of our favorites in Italy, it gripped our attention with so much character and ambiance.  Perched on a hill in the region of Umbria it is famous as the birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi and holds much religious as well as historical and artistic significance.

The cobblestone streets of Assisi, Italy
The cobblestone streets of Assisi, Italy

We arrived by bus as part of the excursions that were included at our Italian language school and filed out to wonder this historical town for the afternoon. Climbing the cobblestoned streets lead us to the footsteps of the Basilica of St. Francis where we had to first cue up for a security check punctuating the importance of this site.  The church is stunning, like no other we saw throughout Italy and is adorned with the most fabulous frescoes of the Giotto school.  After gazing in amazement at the upper Cathedral we ventured down into the lower sanctuary that houses the tomb of St. Francis.  The Cathedral is expansive with many sections, nooks and crannies to explore as well as a gift shop in the upper courtyard. 

Fresco's on the ceiling of the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, Assisi, Ital
Fresco’s on the ceiling of the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, Assisi, Italy



After leaving the Basilica we continued climbing up through the narrow cobblestoned streets where we emerged into the Piazza del Comune.  Immediately our attention was drawn to the beautiful church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva with its impressive roman columns, it is a temple dedicated to the goddess of wisdom, Minerva.  It dates pre-Christianity with some parts remaining from the time of Augustus in 63 BC-AD 14, it went through many changes in usage (even as a prison for a time) and was later converted to a Catholic Church and completely refurbished in 1990.  We sat in the church for a while, contemplating its history and then returned to the piazza walking past the lions fountain and clock tower to the Corso Mazzini to sort through its many interesting shops, bakeries and cafes.   Here is a link to the picture gallery.

Here is a quick video on Assisi, enjoy the sites!


  • Anonymous

    February 26, 2017 at 2:48 pm Reply

    travelling the planet with you guys is so great! I again thank you for your posts and the dialogue! Portofino is indeed beautiful! I see you were in Milan on my birthday! thanks!! keep doing what you are doing – I had no idea that this trip of yours would be so fun for me!

    • Mark

      February 26, 2017 at 9:04 pm Reply

      So glad you are having some fun with us on our travels! Of coarse we had a prosseco for you on your birthday! The Italian Rivieria/Portofino was spectacular and so much more we’d like to explore so we have to go back. I don’t think it will happen this trip as we want to focus on the South in the Summer so we’ll have to come back again, maybe you’ll have to join us!

  • João Lucas Cardoso

    February 26, 2017 at 12:51 am Reply

    Astonishing indeed! How nice this afternoon was, sounds me. And its a pleasure to see the colegues in your video, i remember the school days. On your by, Italian Folk! Wating for more.

    • Mark

      February 26, 2017 at 3:24 am Reply

      Assisi was our favorite stop on the school trips, some day we hope to go back. I have a few more Italy posts to finish and then start some on England. Hope all is going well back home. Did you get that job you were hoping for?

  • Anonymous

    February 25, 2017 at 9:33 am Reply

    I realize that language school must have been an incredible amount of work crammed into a short amount of time, but your field trips were amazing! Beats the heck out of going to the zoo or the science centre!

    • Mark

      February 26, 2017 at 3:22 am Reply

      The field trips were awesome and so much value with the school. A few were canceled unfortunately due to the weather when a 10 year snow storm hit and a trip to the Frassassi Caves was canceled because of the earthquake but we still saw so much.

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