Visit Assisi – Birthplace of the Saint With Orofino Tours
Approximately 90 miles north of Rome, in the rolling hills of Umbria, stands the exceptionally well-preserved medieval town of Assisi. Known primarily as the birthplace of St. Francis (1182-1226 AD), the town has been a sacred place since long before the Franciscan era. Little is known regarding the original founding of the town. One legend tells that the ancient town, called Assisium, came into existence around a holy spring that was later venerated by the Etruscans and then by the Romans. Subject to the dukes of Spoleto in the early Middle Ages, the town of Assisi became an independent in the 12th century and was involved in disputes and battles with nearby Perugia before passing to the Papal states. It became part of the Italian kingdom in 1860.
St. Francis was born in Assisi in 1182, the son of a wealthy cloth merchant. A lively, even riotous youth who dreamed of achieving military glory, Francis abandoned his worldly ambitions at the age of 19 while a prisoner of war in Perugia. He thereafter became a mystic who experienced visions of Christ and Mary, composed the first poems in the Italian language about the beauties of nature, and in 1210 founded the famous order of friars known as the Franciscans. His repudiation of the worldly possessions, his love of nature, and his humble, unassuming character earned him an enormous following throughout Europe.
The Basilica of San Francesco, one of Italy’s foremost monuments, contains the sacred relics of Francis and beautiful frescoes of his life. The Basilica was built between 1228 and 1253 AD. The short period of its construction, rare for a church of this size, is often explained as a measure of the great love that the people of the time had for St. Francis. By the mid 1400’s pilgrims were flocking to Assisi from all parts of Europe and today the walled medieval town and its grand basilica are among the most visited of Christian shrines. And for those who are interested in history, there are seven other churches well worth visiting for their history, beauty, and connection with Francis or his friend Clare. The town of Assisi, with its Roman ruins, winding medieval streets and sacred shrines, has been a major Catholic pilgrimage destination for centuries and is today one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy. Although Assisi has only about 3,000 inhabitants, millions of visitors travel to the small town each year. Additionally there are several sites outside of the city walls that are frequented mainly by pilgrims. The reverence, mysticism and spirituality of the Saint can be felt by each visitor to Assisi.
If you are thinking about a trip to Italy, please contact Stay and Visit Italy – Orofino Tours & Hotels. They offer affordable and comprehensive vacations to Tuscany, Umbria and Rome starting from $499. Visit their website at www.stayandvisit.com, or call 941- 870-2498Orofino Tours & Hotels are located at 7256 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231.