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Assisi, Italy: Street Scenes from St. Francis' Birthplace

Welcome to Assisi

street-scene-from-assisi

Birthplace of St. Francis

St. Francis, St. Clare, pilgrims and tourists equal great photography opportunities. One of my favorite ways to make photos is to wander the streets with camera securely and unobtrusively in hand. I poked around Assisi from the Basilicas of St. Francis and St. Clare to the small shops on the narrow streets of this ancient hillside town. My approach worked as I upheld my children's favorite nickname for me - "pokemom." Against a melodic background of Italian chatter - there is very little English spoken in Assisi - I enjoyed my free time and made some wonderful photographic memories. Two happenings stand out in this first trip to Italy and Assisi - October is olive riprening time in the region of Umbria and November 1 is All Saints Day, a Roman Catholic Feast Day and national Italian holiday - both lead to more people and festive airs in the street.

All photos and their derivations are mine - copyright: Georgene A. Bramlage. Ask for permission before copying.

A Guide to St. Francis Basilica Frescos

A Shrine for St. Francis

The Basilica di San Francesco (Basilica of Saint Francis) is built into the western side of the town of Assisi. Francis wanted, upon his death, to be buried here where criminals were executed outside the walls. Pope Gregory IX, Francis' companion Brother Elias and the first Franciscan Minister General, Giovanni Parenti, decided to build the Basilica on this spot forcing city authorities to move the location of the executions.

The Basilica is composed of an upper church and a lower church. Both upper and lower parts are decorated with frescoes by noted late medieval painters such as Cimabue, Giotto, Simone Martini, Pietro Lorenzetti and Pietro Cavallini. Construction of the the Basilica began in 1228. Francis' remains, on Pentecost 25 May 1230, were moved in a solemn procession to the Lower Basilica from its temporary burial place. Pope Innocent IV consecrated the upper and lower Basilicas in 1253.

The Basilica of St. Francis, on the outer west part of Assisi and the Basilica of Saint Clare (Basilica di Santa Chiara) almost at the eastern wall grasp Assisi almost as would bookends or the arms of a loving parent. The distance between them is slightly over one half of a mile and takes between 15 to 30 minutes.

Assisi a small town or comune of Italy, province of Perugia, Umbria region, west side of Monte Subasio.

My Favorite Sculpture near St. Francis Upper Basilica - Great juxtaposition between these despondent figures and the cathedral built to honor a saint.

Francis as he realizes his future is not in being a knight.  Both figure and horse show torment over the impending decision.  My interpretation!

Francis as he realizes his future is not in being a knight. Both figure and horse show torment over the impending decision. My interpretation!

A Good Lightweight Guidebook to Assisi

FYI - St. Francis, Assisi, Prayer, my Camera and Me

I began looking for a trip to Assisi in early summer of 2013. My inquiries kept leading me back to the FRANCISCAN PILGRIMAGE PROGRAMS. I didn't know very much about pilgrimages when I started out, but the information said I'd find out more about Francis, eat simple meals and stay in uncomplicated lodging. Just what I was after. So, I became a pilgrim following in Francis' footsteps for 12 days with 24 others with time to reflect and make photos. I plan on traveling back to Assisi.

Franciscan Pilgrimages to Assisi and Rome

Francis from Assisi: The Playboy Who Became a Saint

Francis' Boyhood Home

Preserved Door which once stood as part of Francis' boyhood home.

Preserved Door which once stood as part of Francis' boyhood home.

Francis and Assisi for the Armchair Traveler

My Favorite Street Shrine

This arrangment makes the bystander lean down and into the shrine until face-to-face with Francis.

This arrangment makes the bystander lean down and into the shrine until face-to-face with Francis.

An Interesting Sculture Without a Name - Located in a garden of David Austin "Assisi" roses outside the Porta Nuova by the Via Borgo Aretino overlook.

Hampered by the language barrier, we could only learn that this saint was "Umberto."  Unfortunately, I could find no information about the symbolsim.

Hampered by the language barrier, we could only learn that this saint was "Umberto." Unfortunately, I could find no information about the symbolsim.

I'd love to hear what you thought about this article... Should there be more photos or more words? What's your pleasure?

Georgene Moizuk Bramlage (author) from southwestern Virginia on February 13, 2014:

@smine27: Hi! Thanks so much for stopping by, reading and commenting on this lens. I appreciate all three! Yes, Assisi would be a good location for a bucket list trip.

Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on February 13, 2014:

What a beautiful place that I must place into my bucket list.

Georgene Moizuk Bramlage (author) from southwestern Virginia on January 31, 2014:

@Merrci: Assisi is a wonderful blend of old and new. And it is not necessarily a haven for English-speaking tourists...maybe because it is off the beaten track. It is, however, a destination for Italian tourists. Thanks so much for taking timeto stop by and comment on this lens! I appreciate it.

Georgene Moizuk Bramlage (author) from southwestern Virginia on January 31, 2014:

@Pam Irie: Hi! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. That means a great deal to me. I am so glad you liked the lens...it was a fun one to do.

Merry Citarella from Oregon's Southern Coast on January 31, 2014:

Beautiful photos! Makes me want to make the trip. Thanks for sharing this.

Pam Irie from Land of Aloha on January 31, 2014:

You have a well balanced lens between the photos and text. Lovely pictures!

Georgene Moizuk Bramlage (author) from southwestern Virginia on January 29, 2014:

@Lynn Klobuchar: Lynn, Thanks for stopping by one of my favorite lenses. I can almost feel the sun on my back when I look at these photos. Assisi has managed a good blending of the old and the new; it is a lovely place to explore and relax.

Lynn Klobuchar on January 29, 2014:

What an interesting way to travel. Beautiful photos. It is remarkable how European towns and cities merge the old and the new. Thanks for sharing.

Georgene Moizuk Bramlage (author) from southwestern Virginia on January 28, 2014:

@esmonaco: Hi Sam! Thanks so much for stopping by to read my first lens about Assisi and taking the time to comment. I do appreciate the fact that you think my photos are amazing. Thanks so much!

Eugene Samuel Monaco from Lakewood New York on January 28, 2014:

I enjoyed reading your lens and your photos are Amazing!!! Thanks

Georgene Moizuk Bramlage (author) from southwestern Virginia on January 26, 2014:

@RoadMonkey: Hi! Thanks so much for visiting one of my favorite lenses. Thanks for your gracious words about the photos, for also taking time to read the prose. I appreciate both!

RoadMonkey on January 26, 2014:

Beautiful photographs in your lens but I enjoyed your words also.

Georgene Moizuk Bramlage (author) from southwestern Virginia on December 25, 2013:

@Charito1962: It is a beautiful and enlightening place to visit. Perhaps one day things will work ot so that you can visit Assisi. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on my lens.

Charito Maranan-Montecillo from Manila, Philippines on December 25, 2013:

Wish I could visit this homeland of St. Francis someday. - Ms. Charito from the Philippines

Georgene Moizuk Bramlage (author) from southwestern Virginia on November 17, 2013:

@sousababy: Hi Rosemary,

Thanks so much for stopping by my first Assisi lens and your gracious comments. I deeply appreciate both. Please be on the lookout for a few more lens in the same series. This is one way I have to get my mind around this wonderful experience and all that I learned and felt.

sousababy on November 17, 2013:

Your photographs are composed beautifully and thoughtfully. No extra words needed.

Georgene Moizuk Bramlage (author) from southwestern Virginia on November 16, 2013:

@SusanDeppner: Susan, Thanks for stopping by and leaving such gracious comments. It is amazing how many slowly unfolding ideas for lenses have come from this trip. Stay turned...there will be more as I continue to organize both my photos and my thoughts.

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on November 16, 2013:

Beautiful pictures and what an amazing trip! I'd love to read more about where you stayed, your simple meals, and even your pilgrim companions. Thanks for sharing!