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Tours to Assisi

Chicago, IL
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Tours to Assisi

Hello Everyone,

I will be in Rome in October and want to do a day trip to Assisi. Has anyone been there and do you think it is better to go with a tour or on our own?

Thank you,

Olga

Watertown, CT
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1. Re: Tours to Assisi

We used Green Line tours for a day trip. The bus stopped at Orvieto for about an hour, then at an agribusiness farm/restaurant for lunch, which was quite nice. Then we got to Assisi, and had a walking tour of the old town, finishing at St. Francis' basilica. Unfortunately because of a delay waiting for the local guide, we were only given about 15 minutes of free time in Assisi. I woud like to go back someday and visit it on our own because some of the shops looked very nice.

I checked with other bus tours and chose this one because of the lunch stop, whereas other tours stopped at a ceramics factory or leather factory, which didn't interest me at all.

There were only 12 of us on the bus, and we made friends with two couples from Australia who were a lot of fun.

If you aren't sure of traveling on your own, I would recommend Green Line as a relaxing day trip. However, just don't expect a lot of free time.

Also, be warned that there is no photography allowed in any of the churches in Assisi, which is so disappointing because I thought they were the most charming and impressive of the 10+ we visited in Italy.

Italy/Alaska
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2. Re: Tours to Assisi

Assisi, where I live, is easy to find your way around on your own. You can take a train from Rome to Assisi-about 1.5, take a taxi up to the top of the city from the train station or the bus.

There are many trains coming through from Rome during the day.

If you are more comfortable with a guide-and you'd like a private, English speaking, guide- Anne Rhobichan-is the only American licensed guide in Umbria. She is written about/recommended in Rick Steves travel book on Umbria. Her website is annesitaly.com

She does great walking tours around the city, having lived here for 30 years.

She'll also recommend local restaurants.

But if you don't mind walking around on your own, you can easily see much of Assisi on your own-Chiesa Santa Chiara (the tomb of St. Claire and the original cross that spoke to St. Francis); Basilica of St. Francis with the famous Giotto's, Minerva Temple, San Rufino where Francis and Claire were baptized and much later was used as a hiding place and escape route for Jews, have a cappucino in one of the outdoor cafes in the Piazza del Comune (the center of town), gaze at the vistas of the Umbrian valley from any number of places along the ancient city walls, eat a typical Umbrian lunch at La Pallotta, wander the small city streets and stairs-perhaps climbing to the top to the Rocca Maggiore (the large forte)....have a glass of Sagrantino wine - considered some of the best in Italy...

atlanta
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3. Re: Tours to Assisi

Remeber to be properly dressed when visiting the churches in Assisi. Cover appropriately.

Chicago, IL
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4. Re: Tours to Assisi

Thank you so much for the helpful replies. I do have some more questions. Do you know what time the churches are open to and is it difficult to walk around Assisi? My mother has a bad knee and walking anything real steep will be hard on her knees. I would like to stroll with her. What are the best shops to pick up something special from Assisi?

Olga

Ireland
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5. Re: Tours to Assisi

alaskaitaly will hopefully provide you with more precise information but I remember some parts of Assisi as being pretty hilly.

Italy/Alaska
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6. Re: Tours to Assisi

Assisi has climbs in some places.

It is located on the side/base of a mountain-and most Italian hilltop towns are built the same.

A guided bus tour won't really make any difference in this area-they park the bus at one of the parking lots and everyone walks anyway-

I've watched tourists with crutches, wheelchairs, walkers, little old ladies barely shuffling along...and me with a twisted ankle...

all walking the streets of Assisi.

It just depends on your mom's capabilities. You can always stop along your stroll to have a cappucino or a luscious gelato-take your time...

Start at the top of Assisi (piazza Matteoti) and walk down towards the Basilica with a stroll thru the center piazza and Chiesa Santa Chiara (this part is flat) and Minerva. Most of the shops are along the route towards the Basilica and across from Santa Chiara.

Have lunch in the center-perhaps at Pallotta or just a sandwich or pizza in one of the outdoor cafes while you people watch.

Then, continue down to the Basilica...where you will see the Giotto's. All downhill and easy on knees.

After seeing the Basilica, you can take a taxi from there to the train...get on the train back to Rome.

All easy on the knees and you get to see much of Assisi!

Italy/Alaska
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7. Re: Tours to Assisi

And...as for the hours of the churches..

Santa Chiara and the others, normally, close at lunch-between 12-2.

The Basilica seems to be open during lunch.

Washington DC...
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8. Re: Tours to Assisi

Please note that October 4th is the Feast of St. Francis and Assisi will be packed solid with pilgrims. You may want to avoid that day and the week leading up to it as it will be very difficult to get around.

That said, Assisi is a magical place, be sure not to miss visiting.

-N

Italy/Alaska
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9. Re: Tours to Assisi

I disagree! Yes, there will be pilgrims here on October 4-but if you can be here-it is spectacular!

I've posted the festivities on the ASSISI forum...

You won't necessarily have quiet stroll but the festivities of dancing, music, traditional costumes, and the feeling around here is really special.

Assisi, Italy
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10. Re: Tours to Assisi

Thanks, Alaska, for recommending my tours - and yes, Oct 4th is full of tourists, but Italian ones!

A marvelous day to be here..........with many most special events in which to participate - and every year, one of the 20 regions of Italy brings the oil which will burn all year in front of the Tomb of St. Francis (died Oct 3, 1226 - feast is day after as he died at sunset).

This year: Puglia . so the folkloristic events presented will be wonderful and the Puglia foods they will bring to offer as tastings, buonissimo! Don't miss the market on the 5th: the entire town is a street market!

Special early eve events in S. Maria degli Angeli just below the town - at the Basilica di S. M. A, built over the site where Francesco died......