Hi, it’s me Marimonda!
Today, I’d like to introduce you another medieval town in Italy, Assisi. This town is very important in the catholic history because it’s a birth place and Saint Francis who founded the Franciscan religious order was born and died here. St. Francis was born as a son of a successful silk seller, thus he had his childhood in prosperity. He enjoyed an opulent lifestyle before he became a friar and a patron saint later on. I dropped by this town on the way to Florence from Rome.
Assisi is a popular place where many pilgrims visit to feel St. Francis’ life and to fulfill their religious spirit. In the Basilica of Saint Francis, where you can find the tomb of St. Francis. As an Unesco World Heritage Site, the frescos on the wall inside the Basilica is also things not to miss when you visit Assisi. The frescos on the upper church are painted by Giotto, who is one of the most famous Italian painters. Through the paintings, Giotto showed the life of St. Francis: Meeting the Seraph and became a friar; Saying goodbye to his father and giving up all his possessions; Visiting to Egypt to convert the Sultan; Walking on the fire to prove his genuineness to persuade the Sultan..etc. If you know the history, you will understand better. But even if you’re not well-informed with the background knowledge, it’d be enough just to appreciate the paintings and feel the atmosphere at that time.
This medieval town, however, is not only for the religious people but also for non-pilgrims like me. Assisi is full of art and history. The village was very peaceful to relax. Clean streets and smiling people, the town looked super safe. It took out all my worries of pickpockets in Rome. (Actually, Rome was safer than my expectation. It was easy to find the police and military soldiers around the most tourist attractions to keep the city safe and in order. )
Assisi is also a hometown of Saint Clare of Assisi, one of the first followers of St. Francis. She organized the Order of Poor Ladies, a religious order for women in the Franciscan Tradition. Now, you can see her remains at the Basilica of Saint Clare in Assisi. With its pink facade, it is also called as a pink church.
Italy is one of the most seismically active countries in Europe. The town hasn’t experienced a lot of natural disasters, but the earthquake in Assisi in 1997 was still chosen one of the worst earthquakes in Italy. It destroyed most parts of the town. Now you can see steel structures on the buildings in Assisi to withstand the earthquake damages in the future.
For souvenirs, you can find some regional products in town; such as extra virgin olive oil, mushrooms including truffles, or even wine. In the center of the Italy, Assisi is located in Umbria region where is known for its hills, mountains, and valleys with good weather. There are not many stores in the town, but the quality of the products seems quite reliable.
Enjoy your travel with Marimonda! See you soon 🙂
Address : Piazza S. Francesco, 2 06081 Assisi (PG)
Hours : 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (winter) / 6:30 p.m. (summer)