Umbria is another region which contains some of Italy’s famous Hill Towns. Probably the most significant and most visited is Assisi. This was the venue of St Francis of Assisi, forever associated with and seen surrounded by animals, and who was also the founder of the Dominican Order of monks, now found throughout the world. The town of Assisi is charming and a joy to walk, despite the hills, but its crowning feature is the Basilica di San Francesco, one of the world’s most beautiful and important Catholic churches. It is really two churches in one, the Lower Church, built in the Romanesque style in the early 1200’s and the Gothic Upper Church. The frescoes in both are beautiful and memorable.
Other Umbrian Hill Towns include Spoleto, famous for its summer music festival, its Ponte della Torri, a bridge which resembles a Roman aqueduct, La Rocca, the fortress-like castle, and its Duomo, Orvieto, with its glorious Duomo, and Perugia, perhaps the best-preserved hill town of its size in all of Italy.