Assisi is aimportant pilgrimage destination, a beautiful city and of great importance for Christianity. Closely linked to the lives of San Francesco and Santa Chiara, in this city there is a great spirituality: almost all its places of interest, in fact, are part of the great artistic and cultural heritage of the Catholic Church. In addition to being a destination chosen by religious, artistic and cultural tourism, the Umbrian town also reserves pleasant surprises at the table, thanks to a consolidated food and wine tradition.
If you are wondering what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening in Assisi, here are some tips.
- 10 things to see in Assisi in a weekend
- What to see in Assisi in one day: recommended itinerary
- Where to eat in Assisi: the best restaurants
- What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Assisi
- Plan your stay in Assisi: info and useful tips
- User questions and comments
10 things to see in Assisi in a weekend
1 - Basilica of San Francesco
The construction of the Basilica dedicated to St. Francis ended only 4 years after the saint's death, two years after his canonization by Pope Gregory IX, on July 16, 1228. From a distance, the Basilica looks like a unique stronghold , in reality it is made up of two superimposed churches: the lower and upper Basilica, plus the crypt with the tomb of the Saint.
Many artists have contributed to making the two churches a true work of art, in fact, Cimabue and Giotto worked on it, the Lorenzetti and Simone Martini. Inside you can in fact admire, among other works: the complete cycle of the Stories of San Martino, created by Simone Martini; the Chapel of the Magdalene and eight Stories from the childhood of Christ, works by Giotto; a fresco by Cimabue. It is in the upper church that perhaps Giotto's most famous frescoes are preserved, which tell the life of San Francesco, while in the lower one there is the Crypt with his remains.
- on foot in the historic center, by car the nearest parking is in Piazza Giovanni Paolo II - Get directions
- Upper Church in winter 8: 30-18: 00, summer 8: 30-19: 00; Lower church and crypt opening hours in winter 6: 00-18: 00, summer 6: 00-19: 00
- Assisi: tour of the Basilica of San Francesco
2 - Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Porziuncola
It is located 4 km from the center of Assisi and is also linked to San Francesco, it was in fact built to bring together and protect some symbolic places of his life. The Porziuncola is a small church housed in the Basilica where St. Francis had the vision in which Jesus gives him the Indulgence of the Porziuncola or Pardon of Assisi, later approved by Pope Honorius III.
In the Basilica there is also the Transit, a stone room where the infirmary of the convent was set up and where St. Francis died on October 3, 1226. Finally, here is also the Rose Garden where St. Francis rolled to overcome doubt and temptation . According to legend the roses, in contact with the Saint, they lost their thorns giving rise to "Rosa Canina Assisiensis", a species that still blooms only today at the Porziuncola.
- in Piazza Porziuncola; bus Line C from Piazza Matteotti every hour approximately (single ride € 1,30) - Get directions
- sanctuary weekdays 6: 15-12: 40 and 14: 30-19: 30, holidays 6: 45-15: 50 and 14: 30-19: 30, rose garden every day 7: 30-12: 30 and 14: 30-19: 00
3 - Basilica of Santa Chiara
Another very important figure linked to Assisi, who intertwined his life with that of St. Francis, is Santa Chiara. She fled from her rich family at the age of 18, conquered by the Saint's preaching, and joined him and the first friars followers at the small church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, then already called Porziuncola. She was received in the church of San Damiano where founded the Order of the Poor Clares and where he spent his entire life, until his death when he was 42 years old.
The church of Santa Chiara was built immediately after his death near the ancient church of San Giorgio where, until 1230, the remains of San Francesco had been kept. The Church is in Gothic-Umbrian style, inside, behind a grate, some important relics of both Saints are preserved. In the middle of the Basilica there are stairs leading to the crypt with the body of the Saint, preserved inside a stone sarcophagus from Subasio.
- in Piazza Santa Chiara; easily accessible on foot from anywhere in the historic center - Get directions
- every day 6: 30-12: 00 and 14: 00-18: 00; the Crypt opens at 9:00 and can be visited from Monday to Friday; on holidays the Chapel of the Crucifix of S. Damiano closes at 11:00 instead of 12:00
4 - Temple of Minerva
What is a Roman temple doing in the heart of Christianity? The Temple of Minerva, today the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, is a place that contributes even more to making the scenery of Piazza del Comune in Assisi evocative.
It was consecrated in 1539 at the behest of Pope Paul III inside an ancient Roman temple, today it has an entirely frescoed vault and an altar decorated with precious seventeenth-century stuccoes. Following some recent restoration works, some evidence from the Roman era has been brought to light, including the ancient flooring.
- in Piazza del Comune; easily accessible on foot from anywhere in the historic center - Get directions
- every day from 7:15 to 20:00, Sundays and holidays from 8:00 to 20:00
5 - Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, Palazzo dei Priori and Torre del Popolo
They are places of interest located in Piazza del Comune, the main square of Assisi which, in addition to hosting the already stupendous Temple of Minerva, is further embellished by the Torre del Popolo and the Palazzo dei Priori.
The Tower was built starting from 1276 in order to host the family of the Capitano del Popolo. In front of it stands a red stone plaque from Subasio which shows the reference measurements of the typical products of medieval Assisi, i.e. bricks, tiles, squares and tiles, since at the time the municipal statute prescribed the use of these models for all those who practiced artisan and commercial professions. Opposite the Fountain of the three lions stands the Palazzo dei Priori, now the seat of the municipal offices.
- in Piazza del Comune, near the Theater of Minerva; easily accessible on foot from anywhere in the historic center - Get directions
- tower open every day 9: 00-19: 00
- full € 5,00, reduced € 3,00 for university students with ID, school groups, children aged 8 to 17, groups of at least 15 people, over 65
6 - Cathedral of San Rufino (Cathedral of Assisi) and Diocesan Museum
È the oldest church in Assisi and it is thought that it was built where once there was the ancient Roman Forum and a temple dedicated to Bona Mater (or Ceres, goddess of harvest). This church also represents an important place of Franciscan worship, in fact it is thought that its own here both Santa Chiara and San Francesco were baptized. The latter also made his first preaching here.
The facade is one of the examples most beautiful and representative of the Gothic-Umbrian style, with an austere appearance and composed of three rose windows and three portals. The Diocesan Museum of the Cathedral houses, among other things, archaeological finds, paintings and furnishings from the Cathedral, as well as the crypt of San Rufino.
- in Piazza San Rufino, 3; easily accessible on foot from anywhere in the historic center - Get directions
- the museum can be visited every day (11: 00-17: 00 in winter and 10: 00-18: 00 in summer), the Duomo can be visited every day (8: 00-18: 00 in winter and 8:00 -19: 00 in summer).
- Duomo free; Full museum € 3,50, reduced € 1,50
7 - Palazzo Vallemani and Municipal Art Gallery
Palazzo Vallemani is considered the most beautiful palace in Assisi and is located a few minutes from Piazza del Comune, in Via San Francesco. The frescoes on the main floor are valuable, made by Umbrian and Tuscan painters and dating back to 1600.
The Palazzo also houses the Municipal Art Gallery which it conserves frescoes from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, which come from both civil and religious buildings in Assisi and its surroundings. In the rooms on the first floor, there is also the "Museum of memory, Assisi 1943-1944", an exhibition that tells the story of 300 Jews saved from Nazi extermination thanks to the welcome in Assisi.
- in Via San Francesco, 12; easily accessible on foot from anywhere in the historic center - Get directions
- from April to October every day 10: 00-18: 00, open by reservation during the other months
- full € 3,00, reduced € 2,00
8 - Rocca Maggiore
It is a fortress that for over 800 years it has dominated the city, was initially built in 1183 at the behest of Federico Barbarossa, then destroyed by the revolting population and rebuilt by Cardinal d'Albornoz in 1365. It underwent expansion and modification works by Biordo Michelotti (1395-98), by Piccinino (1458 ), by Pius II (1460), by Sixtus IV (1478) and by Paul III (1535) and was even abandoned in 1600.
Despite all these interventions and despite the temporary abandonment, the fortress has managed to arrive almost intact up to the present day. To reach it, it takes about 10 minutes on foot, but the magnificent view of Assisi and its surroundings worth it.
- in via della Rocca; on foot with a climb of about 10 minutes from Piazza del Comune - Get directions
- April, May and October every day 10: 00-18: 30, June-August 9: 00-20: 00, September 10: 00-19: 00, November-February 10: 00-16: 30, March 10: 00-17: 30, from 1 to 28 October from 10:00 to 18:30
- full € 6,00, reduced € 4,00
9 - Hermitage of the Prisons
It is located about 5 km from the center of Assisi and is immersed in a wood 800 meters high on the slopes of Mount Subasio. It is an ancient hermitage (refuge of hermits) also closely linked to the life of St. Francis. It rises around a cave where the Saint loved to take refuge to pray, the name "prison" is in fact intended as "sacred retreat".
To date, the fifteenth-century church, the chapel of San Bernardino, the chapel of Santa Maria delle Carceri and the suggestive cave of San Francesco. The latter is presented as an environment divided into two rooms, one with the bed and the other with the meditation corner, and preserves on the altar a crucifix that is thought to be the one that the Saint wore on his chest during his work. of evangelization.
- on foot, by car or by taxi from the center (average cost from € 15,00 to € 20,00), there is no public transport that reaches the Hermitage - Get directions
- weekdays 6: 30-18: 00 (summer time until 19:00), holidays 7: 30-18: 00 (summer time until 19:00)
10 - Church of San Damiano
È one of the most famous sanctuaries in Assisi, a small and suggestive church and place where St. Francis composed the Canticle of the Creatures, where Santa Chiara founded the order of the Poor Clares and where she lived until her death.
According to the stories, the Saint here also achieved some of the miracles attributed to her, including the most famous: the salvation from the Saracens who entered the cloister but were put to flight by Chiara who showed them a monstrance from the window. It is a religious building in Romanesque style, in addition to the church there has been a community of Friars Minor since 1260.
- in Via San Damiano, 85; by car or on foot, there is no public transport that stops nearby - Get directions
- church open every day 6: 15-12: 00 and 14: 00-19: 45 (solar time 14: 00-17: 45), visits to the Sanctuary can be made every day 10: 00-12: 00 and 14: 00-18: 00 (solar time until 16:30)
- free offer
What to see in Assisi in one day: recommended itinerary
Start the day with breakfast at blaMblà, (€ 5,00). Dedicate the morning to discovery of the historic center. From Piazza Matteotti (if you are driving parking € 12,00 / day) cross the road and take via Torrione, on the left is Piazza San Rufino with its Cathedral, the Duomo of Assisi.
Just a 3-minute walk takes you to Piazza del Comune, where the Temple of Minerva and the Torre del Popolo overlook. Just 800 meters away you reach the splendid Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, with the lower part consisting of the crypt of San Francesco, and the upper one, which houses the fabulous works of Giotto and Cimabue.
For lunch, go to Le Terrazze di Properzio (€ 30,00).
Then take the somewhat demanding but relatively short climb, which will lead you to the Rocca Maggiore, the town fortress overlooking Assisi and its surroundings from which it is possible to admire a unique panorama that includes the Basilica of San Francesco and the surrounding hills.
Back in the historic center, visit the Basilica of Santa Chiara.
For dinner, go back to the center and stop by Ristorante Pizzeria Il Menestrello (€ 25,00).
One day itinerary at a glance
- Breakfast at blaMblà (Get directions)
- Cathedral of San Rufino - opening hours: official site - ticket price: free Duomo, full museum € 3,50; reduced € 1,50 or € 2,50
- Tempio di Minerva - opening hours: every day 7: 15-20: 00, Sunday and holidays 8: 00-20: 00 - ticket price: free
- Torre del Popolo - opening hours: every day 9: 00-19: 00 - ticket price: full € 5,00, reduced € 3,00
- Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi - opening hours: official site - ticket price: free
- Lunch at Le Terrazze di Properzio (Get directions)
- Rocca Maggiore - opening hours - ticket price: full € 6,00, reduced € 4,00
- Basilica of Santa Chiara - opening hours: official site - ticket price: free
- Dinner at Ristorante Pizzeria Il Menestrello (Get directions)
Where to eat in Assisi: the best restaurants
- Trattoria Pallotta: near Piazza del Comune, it offers typical Umbrian cuisine with homemade pasta specialties
Average price per person: € 30,00
Address and contacts: Vicolo Della volta Pinta, 3 (Get directions) / tel: (+39) 0758155273
- At the Camino Vecchio: about 100 meters from the Basilica of San Francesco, traditional cuisine at reasonable prices
Average price per person: € 30,00
Address and contacts: Via S. Giacomo, 7 (Get directions) / tel: (+39) 075812936
- The Stable: it is located inside a real medieval stable, specialized in grilled meat
Average price per person: € 35,00
Address and contacts: Via Eremo delle Carceri, 24 (Get directions) / tel: (+39) 075813636
What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Assisi
Assisi is a destination chosen mainly by pilgrims and by those who prefer religious tourism, it follows that the nightlife in the city is not very developed, although there is no shortage of places to have fun when evening falls, located mainly in the historic center.
The best pubs, clubs and discos
- Bibenda: 5-star aperitifs and aperitifs, wine tastings accompanied by DOC salami and cheeses / Address: Vicolo dei Nepis, 9 (Get directions) / Facebook page
- Osteria Cavatappi: it's a tavern but also a wine bar that organizes evenings and events with live music / Address: Via Campiglione, 110 (Get directions) / Facebook page
- Penny Lane Tavern: in the hamlet of Santa Maria degli Angeli, it is an English-style pub / Address: Via Giovanni Becchetti, 61 / b (Get directions) / Facebook page
Plan your stay in Assisi: info and useful tips
- by car from north and south with the A14 - Adriatica motorway, exit at Cesena and continue on the E45 towards Perugia, exit Assisi. By train on the Florence - Perugia - Foligno line, Assisi - Santa Maria degli Angeli stop
- Getting around: the best way is on foot, as almost the entire area inside the walls is restricted to traffic
- Where to park: parking in Porta San Giacomo (free), paid parking in Piazza Giovanni Paolo II and Piazza Matteotti (average € 12,00 / day)
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 54,00 per room -
- What to see in the surroundings: Gubbio (52,8 km), Perugia (24,3 km), Spoleto (46,3 km), Spello (11,5 km)