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"Assisi, - Home of Brother Sun and Sister Moon" Top 5 Page for this destination Europe Things to Do Tip by Maryimelda

Europe Things to Do: 1,313 reviews and 2,177 photos

  St Francis with the dove
by Maryimelda
  • St Francis with the dove - Europe
      St Francis with the dove
    by Maryimelda
  • Part of the Old Town - Europe
      Part of the Old Town
    by Maryimelda

Assisi is the most gorgeous hillside town I have ever had the privilege to visit. Situated in Umbria, Italy, it is renowned for being the home of its favourite son, St Francis of Assisi and of course his colleague, compatriot and friend St Clare.
This is one of those places that are usually visited by way of a day trip from somewhere else and many hundreds and yes thousands of people turn up here every day. The best way to experience Assisi however, is to stay overnight when you can almost have it all to yourself.
After dinner we climbed the hill to the fortress on top and watched the sun go down over the most beautiful panorama imaginable. The bottle of red we took with us added to the ambience as well.
Whilst most of the churches and other historical sites are to be found in the Old Town atop the hill, there is also the most wonderful Basilica ( Santa Maria del Angeli) to be found below. Inside you will see the famous church within a church. This is the colourful little chapel (Porziuncola) which Francis built and which was built into the basilica centuries later.
My main picture shows the statue of St Francis who had a way with animals, holding the bird's nest. The dove you see is real. Apparently, there is always a live dove in the nest and if you look around nearby, you will see another dove awaiting its turn in the nest.
The Basilica of St Francis on top of the hill is where you will find his tomb in the crypt. Here you can buy a huge candle for a few euro and leave it in a specially designated receptacle beside the altar. In turn the candles are lit and your intentions will be prayed for when your turn comes. It is a very peaceful area, where it is wonderful to just sit quietly and take it all in.

Address: Umbria, Italy
Directions: Take a train or drive from Rome or from Tuscany, only a few hours travel from either end.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 18, 2010
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