"Santa Maria Angeli and San Francesco" Top 5 Page for this destination Italy Things to Do Tip by Trekki
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I didn’t visit Assisi when I travelled in Umbria. Somehow I was in a kind of spiritual mode, “light and easy” and slow and hadn’t seen many tourists. I planned to visit Assisi though but when I approached it and saw the masses of busses unloading more masses of travellers I decided that it is not my time to see the city and churches. So I passed it and went further down (= down the hill) to Santa Maria Angeli, which is located at a place with high significance for San Francesco and his followers. Not that it was all empty and quiet, but at least not that crowded. I had some difficulties to imagine that this was once the place where San Francesco was praying in the forest; nowadays the whole region is quite settled. And somehow I had a bit of a strange feeling that the tiny little wooden church, which was the first one, the Franciscans built (Porziuncola, something like nucleus), is now surrounded by this huge baroque chiesa Santa Maria degli Angeli. The little church inside looks forlorn. And as soon as the busses come and unload their masses into the church, it gets loud inside. So I was even more happy not to have been in Assisi, I think I would have gone mad and not found what I looked for. Next time, but then in winter maybe.
I liked the surroundings though. The long and wide pathway which leads to the church has interesting mosaics picturing Porziuncola (photo 3) and the church’s sideway is paved with thousands of little cobbles with the names of pilgrims who went from here to Assisi by foot (photo 5).
(There is no entrance fee to the church, BTW, and it is forbidden to take photos – erm, well, I saw the sign only when I left the church..)
Location of Basilica Santa Maria degli Angeli on Google Maps.
nearest airport: Roma (Ciampino, CIA or Fiumicino, FCO) or Perugia (PEG).
© Ingrid D., May 2009 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)
Address: South of Assisi (Umbria)
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