Posts Tagged ‘Tourism’


You can see Assisi from a distance, it sits majestically up on a hill.  We arrived on a very hot afternoon, did I say this town was on a hill? Assisi is basically a small town   anchored by two magnificent basilicas. The first one we visited was the Basilica of Santa Chiara, home of the Order of The Poor Clares. No photo taking allowed!

We had a great guide who told us the story of Chiara d’Offreducci, a young woman from an upper class family. Devoted to prayer from an early age, at age 18, she heard of St. Francis and on Palm Sunday in 1212 she met with him and asked for guidance to live her life according to the Gospel.  She cut her hair and traded her fine gown for a plain robe and veil.  She went from a Benedictine Convent to living in dwelling next to the Church of San Damiano.


Home of The Poor Clares

Her sister joined her and eventually other women joined her to live a life of poverty of no money, no shoes, no meat.

Assisi is a beautiful town, the buildings are all pink and white, the stone is quarried in the the region.


Pink and white bricks almost look painted!


The artistry in using the shading of the stones is fantastic!


My “art” photo – capturing the top of a castle and the cupola.

Just one STRIPE photo


Much of Assisi has been rebuilt and repaired from earthquake damage.

Up the hill and thankfully making our way down, we head toward the Basilica of St. Francis.


The Basilica of St Francis

Again no photos allowed. The interior of this church was vast with two wings and a few altars. This Basilica houses the only known actual image of St. Francis.   St. Francis founded the Franciscan Order Of Monks, who live in poverty, own nothing and to this day wear the garb of the simple brown robe with a rope tie and sandals.  Barbara took these photos, (I think she liked the monks).


And there was a monk walking among us.


A Franciscan monk in the shadows


Facade of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva

This ancient church in the photo above was built over a Roman age temple.

Italy doesn’t need a Landmarks Commission to protect their history, every Italian is proud of their heritage and when some piece of antiquity is discovered it is always preserved! Since Assisi has been reconstructed in certain areas over time due to earthquake damage, much of it is not medieval BUT here and there pieces of history exist.  Here is a wall that is still standing from about 300BC!!


Romans built these walls

Besides being the perfect frame for a beautiful Italian countryside view, the arch is part of earlier historical construction!


Historical Beauty

Now why the title of this blog? I was dismayed that the main road through Assisi leading you from one Basilica to the other is lined with tourist shops; statues and crosses carved from olive wood ( the town owns acres and acres of olive groves ), St. Francis and St. Chiara branded in every form imaginable, lots of embroidery, and Italian souvenirs of every kind. I thought it was sad and wondered how Francis and Clare felt about it?

To Be Continued…







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