How to Spend 3 Days in Assisi
Just as the region of Umbria is at the heart of Italy, the town of Assisi is at the heart of Umbria, both figuratively and geographically. By far the biggest draw in the region, Assisi is also centrally located for exploring all of Umbria. Here’s how to see the best of the town and its surrounding region in three days.
Day 1: The Land of Saint Francis
Immerse yourself in Franciscan Assisi, from the spectacular 13th-century Basilica of Saint Francis to the humble Porziuncola church. Avoid the crowds by visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site first thing in the morning with a guide to take in masterpieces by Giotto and Cimabue and the saint’s sacred tomb. Afterwards, take a walking tour through Assisi’s medieval center, visiting highlights from its ancient Roman temple to its Romanesque churches, then strike out beyond the city walls to explore Franciscan sanctuaries and chapels. Foodies can opt for an Assisi walking tour that focuses on local cuisine and artisan shops, or join a medieval cooking class to learn about the Middle Ages through the lens of food.
Day 2: Flavors of the Countryside
Devote your second day to Umbria’s culinary delights by touring a local winery to sample Assisi’s best wines paired with traditional Umbrian dishes, visiting an olive farm to sample the area’s “green gold” drizzled over bruschetta and pasta, or setting off with a local forager and dog to hunt wild truffles in the woods. Most gastronomic day trips to the wineries and farms in the countryside near Assisi include a rustic lunch featuring hearty local fare and may even include transportation so you can imbibe with peace of mind.
Day 3: The Treasures of Umbria
On your last day, take advantage of Assisi’s strategically central location as a convenient jumping-off point for day trips farther afield. The most captivating destinations in Umbria include the elegant capital city of Perugia, home to the Perugina chocolate factory; and the clifftop town of Orvieto and tiny neighboring Civita di Bagnoregio, the latter accessible only by footbridge. Tireless gourmands can continue their gastronomic discoveries at wineries and olive oil mills in Montefalco and Spello, while others may opt to visit Passignano sul Trasimeno, a relaxed resort town on the shores of Lake Trasimeno. For a final foray into Francis’ life, catch the ferry from here to the lake’s tiny Isola Maggiore, where the saint lived for 40 days as a hermit.