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Best things to do in Assisi

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Italy  /  Umbria  /  Province of Perugia  /  Assisi

Top 15 things to do in Assisi

1. Basilica Papale e Sacro Convento di San Francesco d'Assisi

World Heritage listed, Basilica Papale e Sacro Convento di San Francesco d'Assisi features frescoes by Giotto, Lorenzetti, Martini, and Cimabue. St. Francis' monumental tomb is also located within the complex, which dates back to the 12th century. The info office, opposite the entrance into the lower church, can help you schedule a guided tour in English--probably the best way to appreciate this artistic and architectural gem of medieval Italy.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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2. Eremo delle Carceri

Set in a gorge on Monte Subasio, Eremo delle Carceri served as a place of worship and solitude for St. Francis of Assisi during the 13th century. Explore the paths and archways of the retreat, which have been expanded over the centuries since St. Francis' death. Admire the complex's stonework, set on a hillside at an elevation of 791 m (2,595 ft). Wind your way through inner courtyards and small chapels to the cave of St. Francis. A small group of Franciscan monks use the monastery now. The hike up to the monastery—even from the parking lot—is somewhat steep.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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3. San Damiano

St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and ecosystems, is said to have been praying at San Damiano in 1205, when the structure was in disrepair. While kneeling, he saw a vision that told him to rebuild the church. The interior of the cathedral has a single nave, one circular rose window, and a wooden crucifix dating back to 1637. Although St. Francis' history here attracts visitors, it is primarily a place devoted to humble tranquility.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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4. Museo della Porziuncola, Santa Maria degli Angeli

Part of a former Franciscan convent, Museo della Porziuncola provides better understanding of the cult of St. Francis, one of the most venerated saints in history. Archival documents, archeological finds, period furnishings, and Renaissance artworks are displayed in chronological order. Climb a flight of stairs leading to the so-called Conventino--recently restored cells of friars, now hosting temporary exhibits of religious art.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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5. Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli - Porziuncola

Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli - Porziuncola, on the Umbrian plains near Assisi, is the birthplace of Christianity's Franciscan Order. The intricately frescoed basilica stands 75 m (246 ft) high. A carved tree trunk holds the altar in the building's crypt. You can view St. Francis of Assisi's rope belt, as well as his deathbed in the Capello del Transito, where he died in 1226. Be sure to visit the Porziuncola, the small ninth-century stone chapel around which the structure was built.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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6. Basilica di Santa Chiara

See the original Cross of San Damiano, which is duplicated all over town, at Basilica di Santa Chiara. This church is dedicated to and contains the remains of Saint Clare of Assisi, a founder of the Order of Poor Ladies (now the Order of Saint Clare). Admire the simple pink and white stone facade. The basilica is quite plain compared to other Italian churches, in keeping with Saint Clare’s humble lifestyle. Descend into the crypt and see a statue of Saint Clare, a display of her relics, and art depicting her life.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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7. Tili Vini Societa Agricola

Pair delicious organic wines with tasty cheeses and cold cuts at Tili Vini Societa Agricola. The small family-run vineyard that dates back to 1978 produces wine and extra virgin olive oil. Learn how the family came to inhabit these lands during the 12th century following the Holy Roman Emperor Federico Barbarossa. For something fun and out of the ordinary, join the wine tasting designed like a treasure hunt. The lunch includes gluten-free options.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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8. Rocca Maggiore

Look over the town of Assisi from Rocca Maggiore, a 12th-century castle fortress. Climb the hill to the castle, which appears ruined, but still has two towers open that offer panoramic views. To the west lies the town, and to the east are the mountains of Umbria, part of the strategic defense of this fortress.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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9. Food Tours, Siena

Suggested duration: 5h 30 min
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10. Duomo di Siena, Siena

Immerse yourself in the city's history and art with a visit to Duomo di Siena, considered one of the country's greatest medieval churches. Built in several stages and combining elements of the Gothic, Romanesque, and Classical architectural styles, the cathedral was consecrated in 1215. The building has the form of a Latin cross, featuring a slightly projecting transept, bell tower, and a dome, parts of which were designed by architect Gianlorenzo Bernini. The cathedral is constructed of white and greenish-black marble in alternating stripes, with red marble added to the facade. Black and white are the symbolic colors of Siena, linked to the black and white horses of the legendary founders of the city, Senius and Aschius. The building also includes a renowned museum of Italian sculpture, displaying works by Donatello, Bernini, and Michelangelo. All-inclusive tickets are available online, providing access to the entire cathedral complex, including the terrace above the museum with its views of the city.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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12. Cascata delle Marmore, Marmore

Cascata delle Marmore is one of the tallest waterfalls in Europe and the tallest manmade waterfall in the world. The ancient Romans created the waterfall, which stands at 165 m (541 ft). Hike to the top of the falls and gaze down at the massive flow of water and the Nera valley below. About halfway up, look for the tunnel that leads to an observatory called Lovers' Balcony. You're bound to get soaked in this romantic spot, so bring a rain jacket. You can choose from several hiking trails. You can refuel afterward from food vendors at the bottom of the falls or bring your own picnic. Guided tours are available.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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13. Wine Tours & Tastings, Siena

Walk the paths leading to rolling hills, picturesque villages, and opulent vineyards of Tuscany in search of the finest Italian wines on a guided tour from Siena. Accompanied by knowledgeable professionals, you will be able to witness the traditional process of winemaking and experience the aromas of a traditional Italian lunch. While sipping the most representative samples of the region, you'll nibble carefully selected salami and cured meat. Besides the usual drinking restrictions for persons under the age of 18, these 1-to-10-hour tours do not have any other particular limitations.
Suggested duration: 5h 30 min
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14. Mount Subasio

Put on your hiking boots and enjoy the landscapes of Mount Subasio, the cradle of the Franciscan spirit. Enveloping the historical nucleus of Assisi, the park boasts lush meadows and pastures fringed by dense oak woods and olive groves sloping down hillsides. Enjoy the views of horses freely grazing the fields. Explore small towns and hill villages at the heart of the Umbrian valley, or discover mountain springs and river-carved gorges on the eastern side of the park. Watch your step on the treks that can be steep, rocky, and slippery at times.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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