A sacred destination for many Catholics, Assisi is the birthplace and resting place of St. Francis (Patron saint of Italy) and St. Clare. Not only is Assisi a place of pilgrimage, but it also houses stunning architecture with a peaceful and friendly atmosphere, attracting tourists from all corners of the globe.
Things to do in Assisi
Assisi is a charming medieval town packed with surprising attractions. This, plus the fact that the locals are very welcoming and its great historical importance, makes it one of the most popular places to visit in the Umbria region. Assisi’s top attractions are:
- Basilica di San Francesco: The Basilica of Saint Francis was built between 1228 and 1253. The church was founded into the side of a hill, which is adjacent to the medieval walls of Assisi. The basilica is made up of two temples called the Upper Church and the Lower Church. These house the remains of Saint Francis making them some of the most important pilgrimage sites in Italy.
- Basilica di Santa Chiara: Established between 1257 and 1265, the Basilica di Santa Chiara is an elegant Gothic styled temple with a plain façade made of white and pink stone. The highlights of the church include the fourteenth-century frescoes that represent the life and work of Saint Clare. Her remains are buried in the basilica.
- Piazza del Comune: Situated in the heart of the city, this medieval square houses renowned landmarks like the Town Museum, the Palazzo dei Priori or the Palazzo del Capitanato del Popolo.
- Duomo: The Assisi Cathedral is dedicated to San Rufino. In its interior, it preserves the fountain in which Saint Francis and Saint Clare were baptised.
- Rocca Maggiore: Rocca Maggiore is a medieval fortress built as a symbol of the city’s power, sitting on a 500-meter high promontory.
- Abbey of Saint Peter: The Abbey of Saint Peter was founded during the tenth century and in its interior are several tombs and extremely-well preserved frescoes. Its plain Romanesque façade has three rose windows.
Getting to Assisi
There are several options to get to Assisi from Florence:
- English-speaking guided tour: The easiest and most comfortable way to get to Assisi from Florence is to book a day trip with an English-speaking guide. It includes a pick-up at your hotel, an English-speaking guide, tickets to the top attractions and a visit to Assisi and Cortona.
- Train: If you are travelling on a budget, we recommend getting a train from Florence to Assisi. There is a direct train that runs between both cities that takes 2.5 hours. When you organize your trip to Assisi, make sure to check the train timetable before you go, as there are very few a day.
- Rent a car: For those that want to hire a car and drive to Assisi, we recommend stopping along the way and discovering other charming villages of Umbria. Click here to hire a car.