Assisi Travel Guide: How to Make the Most of Your Time in this Well-Preserved Gem of Italy
Assisi, located in the Umbria region of Italy, is a charming medieval town perched high on a hill. It is known for its rich history, religious significance, and stunning architecture from Roman ruins to medieval towers. Assisi's historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracting visitors from around the world.
Assisi is a charming town famously known as the birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of Italy. The basilica accounts for a large portion of visitors to the city. But, there is much more to see and experience beyond the Basilica.
One day is not enough to explore everything Assisi has to offer. So I have put together this guide that offers the must-see sites, as well as a few hotel and restaurant suggestions.
Important sites to see
Basilica of San Francesco (St. Francis Basilica)
Start your day by visiting the Basilica of San Francesco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This magnificent church complex consists of two main churches, the Upper Church and the Lower Church, which are adorned with beautiful frescoes depicting the life of St. Francis. Take your time to explore the basilica and appreciate its spiritual and artistic significance.
For the panoramic photo lover, head up to Rocca Maggiore, a medieval fortress perched on a hill overlooking Assisi. The fortress offers panoramic views of the town and the surrounding countryside. Take a leisurely walk around the fortress walls and enjoy the breathtaking vistas. Right before sunset or early mornings are picture-perfect times.
Basilica di Santa Chiara (St. Clare's Basilica)
Visit the Basilica di Santa Chiara, dedicated to St. Clare, one of St. Francis' closest followers. She lived from 1194 to 1253. The basilica houses the tomb of St. Clare (there can be long wait times to see her tomb) under the church and features beautiful frescoes and works of art. Take a moment to appreciate the peaceful atmosphere of the church and the spiritual legacy of St. Clare.
Piazza del Comune
Stroll through Piazza del Comune, the center of Assisi life for the past 2000 years. The square is surrounded by historic buildings like the ruins of the 1st-century B. C. Temple of Minerva (under the church of Santa Maria Sopra) and the 13th-century bell tower, cafes, and shops. Take some time to relax, enjoy a gelato, or an aperitivo, and soak in the charm of Assisi.
Located near the Basilica of St. Francis, the 4-star Hotel Giotto offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities. The hotel features a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the town and the valley. The friendly staff and convenient location make it an excellent choice for travelers.
Via Fontebella, 41
Situated in the heart of Assisi, Hotel Umbra is an over-achieving 3-star offering cozy rooms decorated in a traditional Italian style. The hotel provides a peaceful atmosphere and is within walking distance of major attractions such as the Basilica of Santa Chiara and Piazza del Comune.
Via degli Archi, 6
Nun Assisi Relais & Spa Museum
For a unique and luxurious experience, stay at the 5-star Nun Assisi Relais & Spa Museum. This boutique hotel is housed in a renovated monastery and features elegant rooms, a spa, and a museum showcasing ancient Roman ruins. The serene ambiance and top-notch facilities make it a perfect choice for a memorable stay.
Via Eremo delle Carceri, 1A
Osteria Piazzetta dell'Erba
Located in a charming square, Osteria Piazzetta dell'Erba offers a delightful dining experience with its warm atmosphere and traditional Umbrian cuisine. Try their homemade pasta, truffle dishes, and local wines for an authentic taste of the region.
Ristorante degli Orti
Nestled in a picturesque garden, Ristorante degli Orti serves delicious Italian dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant offers a diverse menu that includes vegetarian and vegan options. Don't miss their homemade desserts and extensive wine list.
Situated in a historic building with a beautiful terrace overlooking the town, Trattoria Pallotta is known for its excellent service and flavorful dishes. The menu features traditional Umbrian specialties, including wild boar, porchetta, and handmade pasta. End your meal with their delectable tiramisu or a glass of limoncello.
Note: It's always recommended to make reservations in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure availability at the hotels and restaurants of your choosing.
Assisi is well-connected to major cities in Italy, and the most convenient way to reach Assisi is by train. The nearest major airport is Perugia San Francesco d'Assisi - Umbria International Airport (PEG), located approximately 12 kilometers away. From the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to Assisi. Alternatively, you can also reach Assisi by train from major cities like Rome, Florence, or Perugia.
Dress modestly: Assisi is a place of religious significance, so it is advisable to dress modestly, especially when visiting churches and religious sites. It is respectful to cover your shoulders and knees.
Consider joining a guided tour to learn more about the history and significance of Assisi. A knowledgeable guide can provide interesting insights and take you to hidden gems within the town. I can help find you the perfect guide to match the needs of your group of travelers.
Enjoy your visit to Assisi, immersing yourself in its fascinating history, breathtaking views, and culinary delights!
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