Assisi "Serafica Civitas"
122 km from Camping Fano
Giotto’s and Saint Francis’ lives blend in this city by offering to the visitors evidences of profound mysticism. Calendimaggio, a spectacular medieval revival with streets’ serenades is certainly worth a visit.
Most likely founded by the Umbrians, Assisi was then taken over by the Etruscans and the Romans as witnessed by the Temple of Minerva, the Forum remains, the amphitheatre and the Roman walls. After the fall of the Roman Empire it was invaded by the Goths and later by the Longobardi. Around the year 1000 it became a free municipality and blossomed thanks to the Benedictines and the Fraciscans monks. Around 1180 Saint Francis was born here. After the fall of the Holy Roman Empire Assisi came under the power of the Papal States followed by the Visconti, Montefeltro and Sforza families to be reconquered by Pope Paolo III who celebrated his victory and the control over the whole region by building the famous "Rocca Paolina" in Perugia. In the XIX century, the city was annexed to the Italian state.
History and Architecture
Among the many buildings and monuments it’s worth mentioning the Temple of Minerva, the Palazzo del Capitano e del Popolo, the first public building built in the municipality’s square, the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, built in the X century, the Rocca Maggiore where Frederick of Svevia spent his childhood, and the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, which hosted the crowds of pilgrims visiting the Porziuncola, the chapel where Saint Francis used to pray. The famous Giotto’s frescoes on saint Francis’ life hosted in the Basilica of Saint Francio are not to be missed. The Basilica consists of an upper and lower section and it was built after Sain Francis reached sainthood. The simple front facade shaped like a “hut” is decorated only by a central rose window and its interior is typically Gothic. The Upper Basilica is used for all liturgical services while the lower part is a commemorative church with the crypt and the Saint’s relics. The internal structure without ground elevation and with low pillars to sustain the weight of the upper church create a calm atmosphere appropriate for praying.
Calendimaggio, a spectacular medieval revival with costumes, love serenades and lots of activities along the city streets opens the summer events. The Angelana Summer in July features concerts and films while August hosts several religious festivals like the Festival of Forgiveness, the Palio of San Rufino with the crossbow race and the torchlight procession.
Oil, wine and truffle are the most precious gastronomic products of the area. Some of the most delicious specialties include the tagliatelle alla norcina, the abbacchio scottadito, the piccione all’assisana and the parmigiana di cardi. The most popular desserts are the Brustengo, a delicious dessert with corn flour, apples, raisins and pine nuts, the Rocciata, a thin layer of dough stuffed with walnuts, apples, and ricotta cheese and the Tozzetti, dry biscuits to enjoy with a glass of Vinsanto.