We were walking sections of the Via Francigena when we decided to visit the hilltop city of Assisi. I had heard and read about it for years. We ended spending four days here, mostly walking. Because it is situated on a hill (the foothill of the large Mount Subasio) we got a lot of exercise in.
Over the period of four days the medieval delights of old Roman Assisium presented themselves. a range of churches, the Rocca, monasteries and cobbled laneways. Our accommodation was in a renovated monastery run by an order of nuns. Every night we had the opportunity of sharing dinner with other travellers and pilgrims to the city of Italy’s patron saint – St. Francis.
The numero uno site in Assisi is the Basilica of San Francesco. A marvelous place, usually filled with visitors and pilgrims. There is the walk up to the Hermitage, where Francis would spend time alone. Then the astounding church of Santa Maria dei Angeli which houses Francis’ Portunculia, an ancient chapel dedicated to St. Mary.
A refreshing and enlivening four days. Then time to return to the Via Francigena on our way to Rome. More about that later.