When you look up from the valley floor to the hill town of Assisi,
perched on Mt Subasio, the first impressions are lasting and impressive. The
towering walls at the north end of town, the Rocca Maggiore, The spires of the
basilicas all stand above the valley harkening back to the thirteenth century.
Assisi is one of the Best Places in Italy to Visit.
Assisi is one of the most beautiful of the hill towns in Umbria, and
sacred ground for tens to hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Famous for
figures like St Francis and St Clare as well as painters and poets Assisi has a
history going way back into antiquity. Settled in the iron age and influenced
by the Etruscans Assisi became a Roman Municipium in 69 A.D., was conquered by the
Goths (c. 545A.D.) and finally falling under the influence of the Lombard Dukes
of Spoleto. Assisi formed an independent (Ghibelline) commune early in the 12th
century and fought with Perugia as well as the Hohenstaufen Emperor Fredrick
Barbarossa. At the end of the 12th century St Francis was born (c.1198 A.D.)
and from the 13th century Assisi fell under Papal protection. Much of the look
and feel of Assisi comes from this period of Church rule and you can easily
visualize life here in the high medieval and renaissance periods.
Today, Assisi maintains its vast boundary walls, the powerful castles of
Rocca Maggiore and Minore, as well as the beautiful Basilica Di San Francesco,
the final resting place of the founder of the Franciscan order. The streets and
shops are among the finest representations of Umbrae’s medieval hill towns and
the feeling here, among its 25,000 inhabitants is contemplative.
Assisi is a must see for anybody visiting Umbria. It is a great day trip
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