We drove 5 hours from Sorrento north to Assisi where we stayed a week. This region is Umbria and is full of stunning landscapes, ancient towns and delicious food and wine!
Here is their most famous church, known as San Francesco, but it’s formal name is The Papal Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. It is the mother church of the Francescan. It has an adjoining friary, Sacro Convento.
The basilica has 2 levels, an Upper Church and a Lower Church. It’s built into the side of a hill and was begun in 1228 to honor St. Francis who was born in Assisi. He started the Franciscan Order in 1208.
St. Clare was also born there at this time. She founded the Poor Sisters, which later became the Order of the Poor Clare’s.
St. Francis was a wealthy young man who gave up his worldly goods and lived in poverty. He started several Catholic Orders who all lived monastic lives in poverty serving the Catholic Church.
There are many churches, monasteries and convents in Assisi as a result of St Francis and St Clare. It is definitely worth seeing the crypts where St Francis is buried in his church and Saint Clare is buried in her church.
Walking through Assisi at night is enchanting!
This is the Communale, a large open square. The Roman columns of the building are part of the Roman temple. The structure has also been a church. In Roman times it was the Temple of Minerva. In the Middle Ages it was used as a jail. In 1539 it was built as Santa Maria sopra Minerva, a church.
Below this square and building are the archeological ruins and museum of Roman time.
The Roman Forum Museum underneath the Plaza Comunale
This is our apartment. It’s been in the family for centuries.
View from our windows
Trattoria Degli Ombri was recommended for lunch and is on the Communale Square. Delish!
Roast Rabbit with Olives and Vegetables
Lasagne with crispy sausage, truffles and cream sauce. No tomato!
This a cold salad made from farro, which is a popular Italian grain that reminds me of barley. It’s very light and has tomato, corn, mozzarella and parsley. We bought this at the grocery store deli.
The Rocca Maggiore Castle has 2 towers connected by a 100 foot tunnel. The towers offer a beautiful view! A museum is within the main castle.
There are many churches and museums to see including Palazzo Vallemarni Pinacoteca, Oratorio del Pellegrini, Chiesa Margarita where there is a beautiful view, San Giacomo de Muro Ripto
One day we drove to 3 towns nearby.
Trevi is a pretty town known for its olive oil
Montefalco was lovely and known for their wine! We enjoyed a relaxing lunch at Coccorone. Also served but not pictured was cheese with wine gelatin cubes.
House made Sausages
Fettuchini with Truffles
On this square in Montefalco we found a great wine shop. L Enoteca Di Benozzo at Piazza del Comune 11
Bevagna was another beautiful ancient town we enjoyed. We discovered a shop that sold beautiful Italian linens at discounted prices. Petrini Massimo at Via Crescimbeni 5.
We took a day trip to Perugia and had a walking tour. They are known for their major Roman presence and today their chocolate! This we booked online through Viator. It ended up to be a private tour!
This ancient Roman Aqueduct is now a walkway.
Pasticceria Sandri is a lovely cafe dating to 1860.
We enjoyed our morning coffee here so much we returned at lunch for an outdoor buffet!
Our last day in Assisi we explored more churches and had lunch at San Francesco Cafe
Gnocchi with Aubergine
Grilled Scamorza, a sheeps milk cheese
Our last evening in Assisi we dined with a view at Metastasio
House made Pasta with Truffles
I found the shopping for in Assisi to be diverse, charming, and inexpensive. Along Via San Francesco are many small shops. The olive wood shop is great for gifts and momentos. Assisi Jewels has a vast range of jewelry in a small shop at Via San Francesco 14 near the main church. There are a few women’s clothing shops around number 10 via San Francesco carrying Italian makers at reasonable prices. Idea Regalo and Angelette Carlo were the shop names. Many other options are there to explore.
We say goodbye to Assisi and drive on to Milano.