3. Assisi: Historic Walking Tour
Start your tour at the doorway to Assisi, the Porta San Francesco which is of ancient origins yet is well preserved till date. Located just below the Basilica, this medieval gate makes a good stop for you to take some pictures before you start to explore the town further. Next, you will Visit the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, a Roman catholic church where St. Francis was born and died. Some of Italy's finest artworks in the Gothic combined with Romanesque style can be found here. It has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 2000. The Basilica is made up of two Churches which are “Basilica superiore”, the upper Church and the “Basilica inferiore”, the lower church. Visit the St. Peter's Church which dates back to 970 A.D. having a Romanesque facade which is designed in a rectangular shape and consists of three entries, the central one has two Lion sculptures crafted on each side. You will admire the interior which is a blend of Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles. Walk through Piazza del Comune, the main square of Assisi which starts at the Corso Mazzini, the street which connects Piazza Santa Cliara to Piazza del Comune. Here, you will also get to see the fountain of the 3 lions dating back to the 16th Century. Some of the oldest buildings as well as shops and hotels are housed here. Get to see the Temple of Minerva which was built by the will of Gnaeus Caesius and Titus Caesius Priscus in the 1st Century BC. Dedicated to goddess Minerva, it is one of the well preserved examples of Roman architecture. The renowned German poet Goethe is said to have described it during his visit to Assisi in 1786. Next, you will visit the Assisi Cathedral dedicated to San Rufino, the first Bishop and patron Saint of Assisi who takes credit for converting Assisi towards Christianity and is said to have been martyred. The remains of the Saint were put to rest in a Roman sarcophagus now located under the main altar of the Cathedral of San Rufino. The feast day is celebrated on 11th August each year. Visit the Basilica of Saint Claire which is built containing the existing structure of the Church of San Giorgio. The construction of the Basilica began in 1257 under the famous architect Filippo Campello. It is dedicated to St. Clare of Assisi, one of the first followers of St. Francis of Assisi. The remains of St. Claire are kept in the Basilica after being transferred from the chapel of San Giorgio. Finish your tour at the south-eastern part of Assisi at the Porta Nuova which is one of the eight gates of Assisi and of historical significance.