OCTOBER 23, 2019: Exterior of the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in Umbria during sunset.

©Cris Foto/Shutterstock


With the plains spreading picturesquely below and Monte Subasio rearing steep and wooded above, the mere sight of Assisi in the rosy glow of dusk is enough to send pilgrims' souls spiralling to heaven. It’s at this hour, when the day trippers have left and the town is shrouded in saintly silence, that the true spirit of St Francis of Assisi, born here in 1181, can be felt most keenly. However, you don’t have to be religious to be struck by Assisi’s beauty and enjoy its pristine centro storico (historic centre) and Unesco-listed Basilica di San Francesco, home to one of Italy’s most celebrated artistic masterpieces.

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