Assisi is known as the birthplace of St. Francis, patron saint of Italy who renounced all worldly possessions to dedicate himself to helping those in need. The city in its entirety became a UNESCO World Heritage site in the year 2000. It is a must, not only for Catholic believers, but those interested in visiting a perfectly preserved medieval town rich in art, history and culture.
Umbria, the region in which Assisi belongs to, is also referred to as the “green heart” of Italy. Here you can still have a good glimpse into the rural way of life. Experience the authentic countryside with towns that may be less visited by tourists and, therefore, less crowded, but most definitely not less important nor less scenic than their more popular counterparts in Tuscany.
The charm of Umbria is its relaxed and gentle countryside where the frenetic lifestyle is far from the norm. Art and nature, peace and calm, are the character of the small medieval towns embedded in these verdant hills.
Our private walking tour takes you to the wonderful sights of the city including the Basilica of St. Francis which consists of two churches lain on top of each other. The tour will give you tremendous insight into the man and the city during his time. Other sites to visit with our local guide are the Basilica di Santa Chiara (St. Clare, follower of St. Francis and the founder of the Poor Ladies of San Damiano who devoted their lives to austerity and seclusion), the fortress Rocca Maggiore, Chiesa Nuova erected by a Spanish vicar and the “tiny surprise” that awaits you inside the majestic Santa Maria degli Angeli on the city outskirts.
We’ll take you to see the rest of Umbria and the small villages that dot the captivating landscape of this region replete with traces of Roman and medieval heritage. The oldest town of the region, Gubbio has a distinctly medieval flair and celebrates Christmas displaying the largest Christmas tree lit on the slopes of Mount Ingino. Spoleto and its Roman amphitheatre, still used today for the Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of the Two Worlds), celebrates music and opera each summer. The colourful festival, Infiorate, (festival in which the roads are decorated with a carpet of flower petals) is held in the beautiful town of Spello on the 9th Sunday of Easter. In June, there’s the Mercato delle Gaite (market of the medieval quarters) where you can partake in a medieval banquet in Bevagna. We can also explore the ancient town of Orvieto and its underground tunnels dug deep into the tuff on which the city is built.
Our transfers going south from Florence or going north from Rome will allow you, not only to see the resplendent landscape of Umbria with its rolling hills, vineyards and olive groves but also visit one or two of the towns we go to on our tours and daytrips.