Difference between revisions of "Assisi"
Revision as of 09:29, 6 September 2007
Assisi  is a small medieval town of about 25,000 people perched on a hill in Umbria, the heart of Italy. Famous as the birthplace of St. Francis, Assisi holds religious, historical, and artistic significance. Periodical exhibits and fairs enrich the visitor's experience .
By car Take the A1 freeway and exit at the SS75. Follow the signs to historical Assisi and park in one of the public lots just outside the city walls.
By train You'll have to take a local connection at Terontola (coming from Florence) or Foligno (coming from Rome) to Assisi/Santa Maria degli Angeli. The station is at the bottom of the hill, about three miles from the center of town. Bus line "C" (ASSISI - P.ZZA MATTEOTTI-FS-P.ZZA GARIBALDI) will take you the rest of the way. 
Historical Assisi is very small and easily explored on foot. During the hotter summer months take an occasional rest in one of the cool churches or enjoy an icecream break (or two).
Definitely take the time to walk among Assisi's medieval houses and shops. Most of the cobblestone streets and alleys will take you to the basilica of St. Francis. Please be quiet as you visit this multi-level structure as it still is a place of prayer for many. It's a good idea to rent the audio guide to appreciate the artistic and historical significance of this unique church. The walls and ceilings of the upper church are embellished with frescoes of the Giotto school; the lower sanctuary contains the tomb of St. Francis .
Assisi has many beautiful churches to visit, and then there's the Basilica of St. Francis. But one of the best things to do is hike up to the top of the hill above Assisi and see the castle - "La Rocca" - where Frederick Barbarosa spent his childhood. From here you can overlook the town and the valley below. Visit the tiny church of St. Stefano, and go up a few stairs, look back downwards for the most picturesque spot of this beautiful little town.
The many shops display a variety of local arts and crafts, including reproduction of medieval weapons and tools. Religious items are best purchased at the gift shop behind the lower level of St. Francis basilica. Also a giant church that insn't in this acticul.
There are several little ice cream and pizza shops. Restaurants vary from affordable to very expensive. Some are very good, some so-so.
Santa Maria degli Angeli at the bottom of the hill - where the train station is. Visit the Basilica containing the Porziuncola, the tiny stone home of St. Francis and his followers, where the Saint died.