The Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is one of the most important sites of Christian pilgrimage in Italy, and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Construction of the basilica began two years after St. Francis died in 1228, compromising of an upper and lower basilica, the latter home to the crypt containing his remains. Very different in atmosphere and style, the lower basilica was built first and houses the high altar and frescoes by artists of the early Sienese schools; the upper, gothic in style decorated with bright frescoes, most notably works by Giotto.
Severely damaged by an earthquake in 1997, it took two years of Vatican funding to fully repair the damage which included The Life of St Francis by Giotto. Unfortunately, other frescoes, namely works by Cimabue and his followers, were destroyed and lost. As well as the religious and historic importance of the basilica, its position built into the hillside leads to spectacular views over the surrounding Umbrian hills and villages.
Recommended on these multi centres
Rome and Umbria
11 Days suggested multi centre from £899 per person
See Italy’s most remarkable monuments in the capital city of Rome and the rolling hills and quaint villages of Umbria all in one unforgettable holiday.
We have been helping our customers discover the real Italy for 90 years now. Our experience and expertise, together with our attention to detail and personal touch, really does make us the leading Italian holiday specialist