We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Basilica di San Francesco

Level Contributor
3 posts
12 reviews
Save Topic
Basilica di San Francesco

I would like to visit the Basilica di San Francesco in Assisi, however I am unsure how to go about. Do they have tours? If so, do you recommend taking one or exploring on your own?

Thank you in advance!

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
85,294 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Basilica di San Francesco

Will you be staying in Assisi or starting from somewhere else?

Montreal
Level Contributor
17,790 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Basilica di San Francesco

I'm not at all sure that there are guided tours that individuals can join. I think the guided tours offered on this page are for groups:

sanfrancescoassisi.org/SF2004/INFO_PRENOTAZI…

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
25,283 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Basilica di San Francesco

You don't need to take a tour to enjoy the basilica but it is a good idea to have at least a guide book to the extraordinary frescoes and some explanation of the Franciscan tradition.

I know people who have been part of a guided tour here and have learned a great deal about the whole complex around Assisi, not just the basilica but the hermitage, the convent started by Clare etc and in that sense I think you might get a better overall view. I am sure such tours can be contacted in Assisi.

It pains me to say so, (as I don't generally much like his books) but the Rick Steves guidebook has an excellent section on the frescoes. (Just don't follow his suggestions re parking.)

Level Contributor
3 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Basilica di San Francesco

We are driving in from Rome and staying in Assisi.

Level Contributor
3 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Basilica di San Francesco

Thanks Lynn B! Huge help!

Assisi, Italy
Level Contributor
655 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Basilica di San Francesco

Rick Steves is a wonderful source for hotels, etc but NOT an art historian and not a guidebook to the monuments.

If you are not booking a tour with a local guide / and some guides offer shared, group tours / then I would suggest buying a book in ASSISI specific to Assisi ...9.5 E ..with info on all the frescoes..

Even the book will never give you all that a guide can / but better than a generic Umbria guide book

There is also an earphone tour you can rent to left of entrance to the upper Basilica, called la Basilica Superiore.

When will you be here?

If soon, check on all that is going on here in May, June! Wondrous

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
85,294 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Basilica di San Francesco

Steves devotes no less than 6 pages of his Italy guide (2006 edition) to a detailed explanation of both levels of the basilica, with diagrams indicating the location of items of interest.

I am sure he got the information from somewhere else, but it is a good reference if one already has the book.

Assisi, Italy
Level Contributor
655 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Basilica di San Francesco

yes, some info //....but 10,000 sq m of frescoes - the most important frescoes in the world of the late Gothic (late 13th c) and early Renaissance (early 14th c)- astound - and so much more to share.....

a few pages alone could be dedicated to the intarsia work of the choir stall in the upper church (finished in early 16thc) and a few chapters on the restoration of the Basilica post - 1997 earthquake needed too!

):

World's most challenging fresco restoration project ever undertaken.

SO MUCH to share on that one!

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
25,283 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Basilica di San Francesco

AssisAnne, merely as a point of interest I would have thought the frescoes damaged by the bombing of the Eremetani in Padua (one chapel turned into total rubble) would have been more challenging, the frescoes by Mantegna. I was amazed that they had even kept all the fragments, let alone attempted 30-40 years later, to piece together what they had using computer assistance.

spiegel.de/international/…00.html

Assisi, Italy
Level Contributor
655 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Basilica di San Francesco

Giuseppe Basile, a director of restoration in Italy and head of the restoration project, helped me on the prep for my lectures all over the US on the eartthquake, (1998 and on)- .

an almost -quote from him.

The St. Jerome fresco over the door fragmented into 80 000 pieces - 40 000 were re-pieced in 5 yrs.

Less success over the altar_ Cimabue came down / 120 000 pieces - only 25 % could be re-pieced.. took 10 yrs.....he had worked too much al secco there in 1280

etc etc

frescoes in fragments

this note a fragment of the full story