The Holy City of Assisi in the Province of Perugia

The pilgrim town of Assisi stretches out bright red on the slopes of Mount Subásio. The medieval "Rocca Maggiore" towers proudly above it on huge supporting pillars and offers a venerable sight even from afar. Thousands of pilgrims come to Assisi every year to honour Francis of Assisi.

Exploring the Holy City of Assisi in the Province of Perugia

Francis of Assisi and his order
Francis fought for human equality and saw wealth as an obstacle to a happy life in this world and the next. With his speeches against the secularised church, he connected to the almost forgotten traditions of early Christianity. His sermons convinced many to follow him and Pope Innocent III confirmed the Franciscan Order in 1210. It still lends the city its mystical-religious appeal today.

The impressive Franciscan church

An earthquake hit the “Basilica di San Francesco” in 1997, leaving it in shards, and it was not until 2000 that the fresco fragments were completely reassembled. It consists of two churches built on top of each other and although this construction contradicted the principle of poverty, the former acolyte and architect Fra Elia insisted on the construction of the double building. The foundation stone was laid one day after Assisi was canonized in 1228.


The upper church is built in a Gothic style and houses frescoes by the famous painters Cimabue and Giotto. 28 frescoes depict the life of St Francis in a series. The 15th-century choir stalls with filigree inlay work are particularly noteworthy. The lower church is Romanesque and much lower and darker than the upper church.

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