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Slow Travel Google Map: Assisi 360
Outside this palace is where St Francis renounced his physical father in favour of God by stripping naked and placing all his worldly goods on the ground in front of the Bishop. It was also where 20 years later the terminally ill St Francis was rested prior to being carried to the Portiuncula (at "Santa Maria degli Angeli" 5km south west of Assisi's centre) where he died in 1226.
Basilica di San Francesco Lower
The lower "Inferiore" Basilica was designed in the style of a crypt by St.Francis of Assisi's friend and subsequent leader of the Franciscan order, Brother Elia. St Francis's body was laid, in the crypt below, in 1230 four years after his death. His burial place was only discovered again in 1818, Brother Elia had hidden it to prevent the theft of his relics.
Basilica di San Francesco: Upper
The Basilica di San Francesco, has in fact two basilica. The "Superiore" (Upper) was built between 1230 and 1253. Inside are frescoes the most notable including the "Crucifixion", "Isaiah and the David", 32 scenes from the Old and New Testaments and a 28 part 13th century fresco, depicting St Francis of Assisi's life painted by Cimabue's pupils including reputedly Giotto.
Basilica di Santa Chiara
Built in 1260 as the final resting place of Santa Chiara (St Clare of Assisi) who in 1211 at the age of 18 had renounced her aristcratic wealth and joined St Francis. She subsequently formed the order of the "Poor Clare's." Not only a place of pilgrimage for her followers but also those of St Francis; it also houses a Byzantian crucifix that miraculously spoke to him.
Chiesa di San Pietro
This Romanesque/Gothic 13th century church lies below the walls through "Porta San Francesco." The upper facade (1268) has three rose windows and inside are frescoes and tombs from the 14th century.
Duomo di San Ruffino
Assisi's cathedral is the place where both St Francis and St Clare were baptised and is therefore another key place of pilgrimage. There had been various churches on this site from the 5th century onwards. This 12th century (although its vault and bell tower are from the 11th century Romanesque structure) Cathedral was named after a martyred bishop who in the 3rd century originally bought Christianity to Assisi.
Santa Maria Maggiore
On Via Appollonia this was the site of Assisi's original cathedral, until it was transferred to the current Duomo (San Rufino)in 1036. However the current building is 12th century. Inside are remains of frescoes from the 14th and 15th century whilst the crypt is from the previous cathedral.
Santa Maria degli Angeli
Five kilometer south west of Assisi's historic centre, the "Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli" (1569-1684) was built to cater for the pilgrims visiting Assisi. It was located with the small original "Porziuncola" chapel given by the Benedictines to St Francis of Assisi and the "Cappella del Transito" where he died on the 4th October 1226. It is near the train station. You will need to zoom out the map to see its location.
Via Fontebella stretches between the area around the Basilica di San Francesco and the historic centre of Assisi. It offers attractive views of historic buildings and the Umbrian countryside.
Piazzetta Ruggero Bonghi
Leaving the Basilica from the lower area you can then walk down towards "Piazzetta Ruggero Bonghi" from where you can look out through the medieval city gate, up back towards the Basilica di San Francesco or in the other direction along Assisi's cobbled streets into the centre of the City.
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