Basilica of St. Francis (Basilica di San Francesco)
The Basilica of St. Francis (Basilica di San Francesco), a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Assisi, is a popular European pilgrimage site. The complex of two churches commemorates Saint Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order, who is buried here. Plans for the basilica commenced upon his death in 1226 and were completed in 1253.
The Basilica of San Francesco, consisting of an upper and lower church built into a hillside, features frescoes by artists of the era, including Giotto and Cimabue. A highlight is St. Francis' tomb in the crypt. Discover the basilica on a day trip to Assisi from Florence or Siena, stopping at the Convent of Santa Chiara or Santa Maria degli Angeli church. Another nearby destination: the Tuscan town of Cortona, made famous by Under the Tuscan Sun.
Things to Know Before You Go
Basilica di San Francesco is suitable for solo travelers, couples, and families.
Admission is free.
Some tours included roundtrip hotel transfers and guides, but not food or drink. Check tours for specific details.
Due to uneven surfaces, Basilica di San Francesco is not recommended for those with walking disabilities or who use a wheelchair.
To enter the church, both men and women must cover their knees and shoulders.
Comfortable shoes are recommended as a tour of the basilica and grounds require a fair amount of walking.
How to Get There
Basilica di San Francisco is in Assisi in Tuscany. Drive and park at Parking Piazza Giovanni Paolo II (Parcheggio di Giovanni Paul II) at the bottom of the hill. Take the train on the Florence - Terontola - Perugia - Foligno line to Assisi/S. Maria of the Angels, and then board a local bus to basilica. Alternatively, take a tour with roundtrip transport.
When to Get There
The Lower Basilica and crypt are open daily from early morning through early evening. The busiest month for tourism in Italy's Assisi is December, followed by May and February. Prices for hotels and flights are most expensive during these months.
Working with Mother Nature
In 1997, two earthquakes hit Umbria within minutes of one another, but it was an aftershock that shook the basilica in Assisi. Many of the original Giotto frescoes in the Upper Basilica were destroyed, and the vault collapsed, killing four people. The church was closed until 1999 while restoration work took place.
- Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi (Basilica di San Francesco d’Assisi)
- Temple of Minerva (Tempio di Minerva)
- Chiesa Nuova
- Basilica of St. Clare (Basilica di Santa Chiara)
- Porziuncola Museum (Museo della Porziuncola)
- Assisi Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels (Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli)
- Pozzo della Cava