Walking Tour of Assisi, Italy
Assisi is a lovely Umbrian town famous as the home base for St Francis, father of the Franciscan Order of Monks and noted ascetic. It is an important pilgrimage location for Roman Catholics from around the world.
See the Basilica de San Francesco first. The incredible church is dedicated to the commemoration of the life and works of this significant religious figure. Be sure to spend some time in both the Upper Church, which features beautiful frescoes depicting the life of St Francis, and the Lower Church, a darker, Romanesque structure, built in the early 13th century. When finished and ready to begin your walk, keep in mind that the streets of this hill town can be extremely steep and exerting.
From the church entrance, bear right on Via Frate Elia through the St Francis Gate and into the Square of a United Italy, then through St Peter’s Gate into another piazza and St Peter’s Church, a much simpler religious edifice.
Leave the square on Via Borgo San Pietro, then turn left on Via Ancaiani to another piazza. Turn right and cross the square continuing east on Via Brizi which leads into Assisi’s Main Square, Piazza del Comune. You will pass the Roman Forum Museum, for museum-lovers only, and the People’s Tower. Also on the square are the Santa Maria sopra Minerva Church, once the Temple of Minerva, and the City Hall.
From the square exit to the south on Corso Mazzini to St Clare’s Church. This disciple of St Francis founded a convent which eventually led to the church, built in 1260. Now, retrace your steps back to the Piazza del Comune and Via di San Rufino to the piazza which contains the town’s Cathedral.
After a short look, leave this square eastward on Via Porta to Porta Perlici and turn left onto Via della Rocca which leads to the town’s Castle, Rocca Maggiore, from which there are fabulous views of the Umbrian countryside and the town’s walls.
Leaving the castle, retrace your steps then turn right onto Via del Colle which leads northwest and eventually to Via San Giacomo. Turn right then left on Via Merry del Val and back to the Piazza San Francesco and the Basilica where you began your walking tour.