Day 13 - Assisi

Lower Basilica

With its stunning architecture, rich history, and serene countryside, Assisi is a charming destination that offers something for every traveler, whether you're interested in art and culture, spirituality, or simply enjoying the beauty of the Italian countryside. The drive to Assisi was beautiful. Our first stop was the Lower Basilia.

Assisi is home to several churches, many of which are significant religious and historical landmarks. The most famous church in Assisi is the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi (Basilica di San Francesco d'Assisi), dedicated to St. Francis, the patron saint of Italy. This basilica is actually composed of two churches, the Upper Basilica and the Lower Basilica.

Chapel of the Transito

Upper Basilica

The lower Basilica houses the crypt where the remains of St. Francis are interred and Chapel of the Transito.  This chapel is believed to have been part of where St. Francis spent the final days of his life. The Lower Basilica is adorned with beautiful frescoes by artists, depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments and the life of St. Francis. The church is beautiful and very spiritual.

As a lover of animals and nature, St. Francis has always been my favorite saint. It looks like I am not the only one who is partial to his faith and beliefs! St. Francis is recognized the patron saint of multiple aspects of life including of animals and the environment, ecology and environmentalism, merchants and merchandise, saint of peace, promoting understanding, forgiveness, and cooperation and saint of Franciscan friars, nuns, and laypeople who follow the Franciscan way of life. That is one popular saint!

St. Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first Nativity scene or Christmas creche.  As a child, I always pictured St. Francis up the mountainside in a cave with all the animals presented as a nativity for all below to see.  That proved to be an artist's expression of their creativity, imagination, and perspective on St. Francis and his work.  There was no cave to be found but I still stand by my vision and love for St. Francis.

The Upper Basilica is located up the mountainside inside a medieval streets and alleyways. The atmosphere of this historic is very simple with charming shops, restaurants, and gelaterias to enjoy. After some time walking and shopping, we picked up some lunch and enjoyed it in the shade as we prepared for our walking tour with Guiseppe.


Daniella explaining how the city of the Upper Basilica is organized.

A living St. Francis (the wolf is fake)

Pinocchio can be found all over Italy

Entrance to the Upper Basilica village

Here we had the benefit of our tour guide, Guiseppe, who walked us through the streets and into the Basilica. There are beautiful gardens outside the Basilica that offer panoramic views of the town of Assisi and the Umbrian countryside. Another toot for the benefit of the local tour guides as their expertise added depth and context to our travel experience, gave us an understanding and appreciation of each city we visited. 

The gardens in front of the Upper Basilica

Beautiful views from the Upper Basilica area

Lower-level crypts

Our drive from Assisi to Orvieto offered a scenic journey through the beautiful Umbrian countryside. Vineyards and olive groves abound as we climbed up to our next destination, Alta Rocca Winery and Resort.

Create Your Own Website With Webador