Italia – Assisi

Basilica di San Francesco Assisi

Basilica di San Francesco – Assisi, Italy

As we all know, in December 2013 Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca performed in Rai’s Concerto di Natale in the Basilica Superiore di San Francesco in Assisi. So lets take another quick look at this truly heavenly, out of this world city.

Per MN: “Assisi is a city in the Umbria Region of central Italy located in the Perugia Province. It developed from the Eutruscan and then the Roman town of Assisium of which the temple of Minerva (now a church) is the most notable remain. Assisi is famous as it was the birth place of Saint Francis and Saint Clare, respectively the founders of two religious orders the Franciscan Friars and the Poor Clare Sisters.

After St. Francis, and St. Clare died, churches were built in their honor. The Church of St. Francis, called the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi (Basilica di San Francesco), his burial place, is also famous for the fresco paintings on the walls and vaults.

In Upper Church and Lower Church you can see beautiful examples of fresco paintings namely by Cimabue(1240-1302), Simone Martini, Pietro Lorenzetti and some attributed to the School of Giotto, to mention the most well known. You can also appreciate the glass work of the “Vetrate” del ‘Maestro di san Francesco’.

Cimabue painting, image credits to Starlight modified by GunnarBach

Saint Clare’s remains are in the Basilica of Saint Clare which construction work began in 1257, three years after the saint’s death and a year after she was canonized. You will find fresco paintings by Puccio Capanna (1340-46) as well as other frescoes of the school of Giotto and by Lorenzetti and biblical scenes by an artist known as the Maestro Espressionista di Santa Chiara (first half of the 14th century).  But the oldest church in Assisi is Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary the Greater).  San Francesco (Saint Francis) and Santa Caterina da Siena (Saint Catherine of Siena) are the patron saints of Italy.

In 1997 Assisi was hit by the two earthquakes. Many people “made donations”  to repair the building which was reopened less than two years later.  Assisi is a  World Heritage Site and is a visited by both pilgrims and tourists.”

MN (mlla) told me, “I was in the Umbria region when very young and it was a beautiful experience to travel through the countryside, I also attended the Jazz Festival in Perugia. It is a festival well renowned worldwide and during 10 days in the month of July Perugia embraces the best of the Italian and International jazz. The Festival was officially born August 23rd, 1973.

Umbria is a very green region with lovely hills and countryside and has some beautiful historical sites and mediaeval monuments, churches and castles in cities like  Spoleto, Orvieto, Gubbio, Narni, Todi, Assisi and Perugia and other smaller centres. The main products are oil and olives, wine, cold cuts, meats like raw ham Salame di Norcia and sausages, hand made type pasta, mushrooms and truffles.  Some cities are very well known for the hand painted potteries.”  I asked if Assisi is close to Gianluca’s home in Montepagano and MN said the “Umbria and Abruzzo regions are not very far but still I believe it will take about three hours to go from Montepagano to Assisi by car.”

* Thank you MN (mlla) for sharing your knowledge and memories of all things associated with Assisi!

Assisi Basilica of St. Francis  Cloister

       Basilica Of Saint Francis Cloister


Blessing of newlyweds outside Basilica

OurGuideBasilica di San Francesco, Assisi (2)

 Our guide made a quick exit, as our tour of the Basilica came to a close!


The photo above and those below are taken in Assisi and the surrounding countryside.






Corner in Assisi

Town Square with the Lion Fountain Assisi

 Assisi Town Square

My picture of the fountain above was taken late at night, it is a little out of focus and from looking at it you don’t know there was music playing and you can’t see the activity going on near by; people laughing and dancing, so full of life.  A “Gelateria” with a window full of the most beautiful desserts was across the street.  My picture of it is so less than perfect, because I was in a hurry to catch up with my fellow travelers, but I would like you to imagine its beauty.  To me this blur of a picture represents the hum of activity in the square. It was alive and the air – so light –  it seemed like heaven on earth! Truly my wandering in Assisi that night was an ethereal experience, one I hope to experience again soon. mfa


Gelateria near Assisi Town Square

While I was looking for additional resources on Assisi, I found the UNESCO website “Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites” .  This site notes that the city of Assisi is located at the foot of Subasio Mountain and built on the slopes of the hill of Asio. The “urban settlement is elongated and extends from the south-east towards the north-west” and “the Roman plan of the city is based on the set of terraces.” In the history of medieval Assisi the life and work of Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) was undoubtedly the most remarkable event. The Basilica of San Francesco was started in 1228. “An exquisite Gothic portal” makes up the entry way into the lower basilica where the interior is completely covered with frescoes by an unknown artist, the Maestro di San Francesco, the earliest from 1253.  With the construction of the Basilicas the medieval settlement took on a new look; the main square was developed over the former forum area with the Temple of Minerva.  To read more go to the source:

Additional Resources I found for you! 

Town Square in Assisi Live Webcam

Beautiful video by ‘gogetyerselfalife” –  Music by Turin Brakes

Inside Basilica di San Francesco Assisi [St. Francis of Assisi], Italy

Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites

Earthquakes Jolt Assisi

Post-earthquake restoration complete at Assisi Basilica

Assisi and the Basilica of St. Francis

Sacred Destinations – Assisi

The Basilica of St Francis and the Sacro Convento

Basilica of St. Francis  of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi   A Detailed Biography

Poor Clare Sisters

34 thoughts on “Italia – Assisi”

  1. Michele the time & effort you have put into this display is commendable. God what an education. I haven’t finished reading near the end of what is left to read. I got through a part of this wonderful education of Italy & St. Francis of Assisi & his history.

    Mlla thank you so much for your information & experiences as well, it is all so interesting. I am going to have to save this for a later time to finish reading everything that I don’t want to miss.

    Thank you girls your efforts & information is wonderful & so concise & interesting, I feel as if have already been there.
    Michele those pictures are out of this world & inside the church, I can only say wow, what detail.

    1. Thank you Loretta.  You can go back as often as you like.  Take your time.  The resources are so full of information you will have plenty to read for some time. 

      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S®4

  2. I agree with Loretta. The Flight Crew site offers some things that none of the other sites offer. The intellectual level and educational aspect is wondrous.
    Wonderful research. I was in Assisi over ten years ago and like to many Italian towns it is loaded with history and tradition but also like so many towns it offers a unique personality. Thanks for this gift.

    1. Thank you Myron. I love everywhere I visited in Italy, yet Assisi is so special, it is hard to describe accurately. It’s spiritual or magical, yet neither of those words are enough , like heaven on earth as I said earlier, that’s the best I can do!

  3. So, so beautiful. I can’t thank you enough. Brings back memories of when I was there. He became my patron saint. Can’t wait to go through everything.

  4. Wow! What an education. When I go there…and I will go there…I won’t need a tour guide. Once I finish reading all the resources I could be a tour guide!

    Are you sure these pictures are from your trip or from a 200 year old book? What beautiful old City.
    Thanks Michele and mlla

  5. Thank you so much for the lesson. History is so much funner to study when it’s linked to Italy, and therefore, indirectly, to The Boys! The pictures are absolutely gorgeous. I especially loved the one looking down on the rooftops. How did you get that shot?

  6. I am glad everyone seems to be enjoying one of my most favorite places in the world! I hope you will keep coming back to the links as I plan to – there is so much to learn!

    Isabel, I was looking down from the street above. The city is, “built on the slopes of the hill of Asio.”

  7. I am glad that some of you have been to Italy and share you’re experiences here. Mfazzara, thanks especially for the pictures. Just seeing sights that the boys have seen almost makes me feel closer to them. Don’t you think we all should go to Italy together and those of you who have been there before could be our guides? Or better yet, get il volo to be our guides?! Boy, what fun we would have! (Or maybe even trouble?) hehehe! If we ever did go, we may need to warn Italy first! I don’t know if it could handle all of us!

    1. Do you think we would count as an invasion? Beware the descent of the crazy fan group!! Look out below! Welcome to the Flight Crew by the way, and I love your profile pic! 😀

      1. And YES, I think we could count as an invasion! An invasion of love, fun, and craziness! We could call it The March of Fans! Watch out! Love can conquer the world! 🙂

  8. Sign me up for the “invasion”!

    What a beautiful and painless (thinking of my school years) way to read about the history and especially the art history of Italy. I, too, will come back again and again to read and reread. Thanks to all of you who make this tour of Italy possible for those of us who have little hope of ever going to Italy.

    And thanks to Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca. Not only have you brought me joy and happiness with your glorious voices, but have also brought me into contact with all of the wonderful people on the site.

    1. You said it Marie–get out of our way to avoid the stampede, and no kissing until you can see the whiskers on their cheeks!
      We need to have official Flight Crew badges so we will be able to instantly recognize one another!

  9. I’ll take it. I liked “Your Grace” better, Thanks to Jeanine, but I’ll take General Marie and lead the attack!! Poor Italians have never seen a troop like this!!! WARNING: ALL ITALIANS – POINT US IN THE DIRECTION OF OUR BOYS, THEN GIVE US A HUG AND GET OUT OF OUR WAY!

  10. Whoever finds The Dear One With Red Glasses first please save him out for me to kiss first! BTW Does anyone here know CPR? We might need to resuscitate the boys from all our smothering!

  11. “The Dear One With Red Glasses” TDOWRD. We need to find a way to re-arange those letters into something. This should be fun! Towrdd fans? Worddt fans?

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