Eremo delle Carceri


Perched on the forested slopes of Monte Subasio, this monastery is set around the caves where St Francis and his followers prayed and contemplated spiritual matters. The carceri (isolated places, or 'prisons') are as peaceful today as in St Francis' time, even though they're now surrounded by religious buildings. It's a claustrophobic walk down to Francesco's Grotta (cave), where he prayed and slept on a stone bed in his later years.

The oak woods around the Eremo are criss-crossed by several hiking trails. As you walk, look out for a series of bronze statues of St. Francis (kicking back on the ground, sandals off) and two friars, Ginepro and Leone, staring at the constellations.

The Eremo is about 4km east of Assisi – allow about an hour to walk there, less for the downhill return.