Sant Francis of Assisi - Umbria


Umbria: land of quiet spaces and silence / pag.2

We can now move on to Assisi.

While we are still in the plain, we will be caught between two fires: the cupola of Santa Maria degli Angeli to our rear and the basilica of Saint Francis above us at the edge of the hill on which the town has settled. Before we pass its walls, a brief detour will take us to the monastery of the Saint Damian, where the cloisters preserve the memory of the crucifix that spoke to Saint Francis in 1205.

And we are not surprised to learn that the saint dictated the Song of the Creatures among these olive trees. We can enter Assisi leaving our car in one of the many convenient parking lots immediately under the city, taking the escalator for the last part of the way up.

But we prefer to "go up" to the one in Matteotti square. From there, we can reach the Rocca Maggiore quickly, where we will have a view of the whole town. Another short walk takes us to the polygonal tower, now we find the basilica of St. Francis at our feet.

We can begin our descent. The basilica is at the other end of this marvelous town and to reach it we pass some real art treasures. San Rufino, the cathedral, where Saint Francis was baptized, the basilica of Saint Chiara, where Saint Damian's crucifix is today, and even the Santa Maria sopra Minerva, with the ladder and six Roman columns.

The basilica appears at the end the road, and we will not stand here recommending that you do not miss a single detail of the upper part and even more of the very original lower part.
Leaving it at dusk, after one last glance at the plain (and at the cupola of Santa Maria degli Angeli), we will pass through the lower square of Saint Francis and begin our trip back.
To provide an appropriate conclusion to the day, we could eat in a suggestive town like Spello, which is not too far off. It may be worth a final effort to go back to Assisi and look at the basilica at night.

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Narni, Assisi, Foligno, Spoleto, Cittą di Castello, Norcia, Gubbio


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