Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli


The enormous domed church you see as you approach Assisi along the Tiber valley is the 16th-century Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli, some 4km beneath Assisi proper. Built between 1565 and 1685, its vast interior houses the Porziuncola chapel, a humble stone church where St Francis first took refuge after he'd renounced his worldly goods, which is generally regarded as the place where the Franciscan movement started. Nearby, the Cappella del Transito stands on the site where St Francis died.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Assisi attractions

1. Tomb of St Francis

1.73 MILES

Hidden for almost 600 years, St Francis' tomb was discovered beneath the Basilica di San Francesco in 1818 following a 52-day dig, and painstakingly…

2. Basilica Inferiore

1.73 MILES

The lower and earlier of the two churches comprising the Basilica di San Francesco, this basilica was commissioned by Pope Gregory IX in 1228, just two…

3. Basilica Superiore

1.76 MILES

The upper church of the Basilica di San Francesco was built after the Basilica Inferiore and consecrated in 1253, and the change in style and grandiosity…

4. Basilica di San Francesco

1.76 MILES

Visible for miles around, the Basilica di San Francesco is the crowning glory of Assisi's Unesco-listed historic centre. The 13th-century complex is…

5. Chiesa di San Damiano

1.94 MILES

Set amid lush olive groves 1.5km southeast of Assisi's historic centre, this atmospheric sanctuary is where St Francis is said to have heard the voice of…

6. Foro Romano

1.95 MILES

In among the churches and medieval streets you can still find a few traces of Assisi's Roman past. Extending beneath Piazza del Commune are the remains of…

7. Chiesa Nuova

1.97 MILES

Just southeast of Piazza del Comune, this baroque domed church is a peaceful place for contemplation. It was built by King Philip III of Spain in 1615…

8. Tempio di Minerva

1.98 MILES

Lording it over Piazza del Commune is the imposing form of the Roman Tempio di Minerva. In fact, little remains of the original 1st-century BC structure…