The entire town of Assisi is saturated with an atmosphere of calm serenity. It is simply impossible to stay immune to the devotion and piousness that the pilgrims bring with them. This is strengthened by the town’s elevated location, on the slope of mount Subasio, offering a wide view of the surrounding umbrian valley.
Another monumental religious site is Basilica di Santa Chiara, dedicated to St. Clare of Assisi. She was an early follower of St. Francis and she founded the Order of Saint Clare. The church was built in 1265, and exhibits not only the bones of St. Clare, but also several pieces of needlework made by her hand.
Assisi also holds one of the most well preserved roman temples, although it has been rebuilt as a catholi church, Santa Maria sopra Minerva. The Temple of Minerva, was built the 1st century BC. It was associated to Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, because of the finding of a female statue at the back of the temple. Later findings of a stone dedicating the temple to Hercules, the heroic semi-god, has made the attribution ambiguous. The interior of the temple was completely destroyed during the building of the church, in 1539, but the impressive, and deeply suggestive façade is still intact.
The legacy of St. Francis preaches peace above all, and this legacy is very much kept alive in Assisi. In September or October every other year the Peace March from Perugia to Assisi is arranged. It is a distance of 24 km, through the beautiful umbrian landscape. It manifests the Italian peace movement and celebrates fraternity between all of mankind.
There is also an international peace festival in Assisi every year, in September. Concerts, art exhibitions and seminars about peace, solidarity and ecology are just some of the activities available during the week.
There is no escaping the spirit of St. Francis in Assisi. This is a town that affects everyone deeply, He left behind a legacy of love for everyone, a life of peace and meditation. This atmosphere embraces you from the moment you step foot in this town, and when you leave, you take a piece of that calm with you.
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