Assisi and Spello

Assisi

ASSISI

Assisi is a good town for wandering and exploring.For hundreds of years Assisi has been dominated by the unpretentious figure of St. Francis, whose followers filled the little town with churches, monasteries and shrines. Everywhere you look in Assisi, you’ll find another fine church, mostly built in the pretty pink stone which defines the town’s appearance, and mostly containing fine artworks and a few Franciscan relics. The grandest of these, of course, is the Basilica di San Francesco , the important double-decker church built to honour the humble saint, who lies in the crypt. Assisi’s other attractive churches are numerous; among the finest are the Basilica di Santa Chiara (St. Clare’s); San Rufino and San Pietro , The ruins of another Roman house can be seen in the crypt of Santa Maria Maggiore . In Piazza del comune you can see the base of the Temple of Minerva which still dominates the heart of the town (its columns are now the facade of Santa Maria sopra Minerva church, which has a pretty blue-and-gold gallery).The town’s attractive main street is the Via San Francesco, which runs from the Basilica up to Piazza del Comune. There are many interesting buildings along the way, including the frescoed Oratorio dei Pellegrini (Pilgrims’ Oratory), and the town’s art gallery, the Pinacoteca Comunale ..For the best view over the town, follow signs to the Rocca Maggiore , the large fortress towering above Assisi while   Eremo delle Carceri , was the hermitage in the woods to which St. Francis retreated for prayer


SpelloSPELLO
Spello combines its medieval aspect of winding streets and ancient stone houses with numerous Roman remains: such as the town walls used as the base for the medieval walls; the remains of a theatre, an amphitheatre, public baths; and the so-called Arco Augusto, ancient town entry gate. The historical town centre is still encircled by walls erected in 1360 taking in part of the Roman walls and three splendid gates: Porta Consolare (1st century BC), Porta Urbica and Porta Venere from the Augustan era, constructed with a triumphant arch, and on either side the 12-sided towers of Properzio. Some of the most remarkable religious buildings are the church of Santa Maria Maggiore (12th – 13th century), with great art works inside: to the left of the nave is the splendid Cappella Baglioni frescoed by Pintoricchio, as well as paintings by Perugino there is an ancient majolica flooring from Deruta (1516). Pintoricchio also executed the large panel of the Madonna e Santi (1508) in the 13th-century church of Sant’Andrea, which also contains the Crocifisso by the school of Giotto, and the body of Blessed Andrea Caccioli, companion of Saint Francis.
Apart from the Palazzo Comunale (Palazzo Cruciani), town hall housing the library, Historical Archives and Accademy of Costantinian Studies; also worthy of a visit are the Palazzo Baglioni (1358), Palazzo dei Canonici, home to the Pinacoteca, art gallery; and the church of San Lorenzo (12th century), where there is a precious marble tabernacle sculpted by Flaminio Vacca (1587)

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