Assisi is about a three hour train ride from Florence in the province of Perugia. I went to see the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi (St. Francis) but what I found was much more. Assisi is a beautiful small town with medieval buildings. It was rather quiet and peaceful, despite the hoards of tourists visiting in buses. The remains of an imperial fortress (Rocca Maggiore) sits at the top of the city. 

The basilica is a world heritage site and an important place of religious pilgrimage. Assisi is the birthplace of St. Francis and he is buried within the basilica. The site was absolutely incredible. The white cathedral is built into the side of an enormous hill so there are two parts of the basilica; an upper and a lower section. The frescoes tell the story of the life of St. Francis. The basilica was built to honor St. Francis after his canonization in 1228. 

Assisi is home to many other beautiful churches such as the Cathedral of St. Rufino, Basilica of Santa Chiara (St. Clare) and the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli. I really enjoyed wandering around Assisi and exploring the many levels of the city. I climbed to the top of the fortress of Rocca Maggiore and from the top I witnessed breathtaking views of the countryside with white-capped mountains in the distance. I never wanted to leave.
 


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