What a charming town: beautiful, very religious and inexpensive!
It is a lovely Umbrian town, a very popular destination for pilgrims who come here to pay homage to St Francis and St Clara.
This red-and-white-striped church with a wide piazza is Basilica di Santa Clara. The church is dedicated to Saint Clare, one of the earliest and most fervent follower of Saint Francis.
Clare’s body is in the crypt of this church.
Pilgrims come here also to pray in front of the cross that spoke to Saint Francis, the San Damiano Cross. This cross used to hang in the little chapel in San Damiano. According to Bonaventure’s account of St. Francis’ life, a voice from the cross told him three times: “Francis, go and repair my house, which, as you can see, is falling into ruin”.
The town is very popular among pilgrims and tourists. Souvenir stores are everywhere:
Marisa and Taren came from Rome for one day, to spend some time with us and to visit Assisi:
We are standing in the central piazza, in front of an ancient temple dedicated to Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom. In the 16th century this ancient building was converted into a church – Santa Maria Sopra Minerva.
The pilgrim’s ultimate destination is the massive Basilica di San Francesco, In reality it is not one church but two: the Romanesque Lower Church and the Gothic Upper Church. The walls and ceilings of both churches are covered with some of Europe’s finest frescoes. Many of them were painted by Giotto and his assistants.
This boat is displayed in front of the Basilica. Nine people came on it from Africa to Europe, escaping violence and famine. The boat is displayed as a reminder of all those who never finished this hazardous journey safely and died. A boat like this one was their boat of hope for a better life.
More typical Italian souvenirs:
A free concert was a wonderful way to end our stay in Assisi.