The Basilica di Santa Chiara
was erected in the 13th century in the Romanesque
style. Some of its features are its lofty walls, breathtaking façade and the white and pink stone of its external walls, a feature shared by other buildings in the town. This stone was extracted and brought from Subasio. Santa Chiara was of noble origin and lived in the same era as St Francis. She created the Order of Poor Clares. Her remains are held in the crypt in the basilica where the Byzantine cross that supposedly spoke to Francis is.
Along Via Santa Chiara in Piazza del Commune
is part of the Foro Romano
which has not been totally dug out. The shops on the piazza are built on Roman ruins that shop keepers keep on show for visitors in their basements.
Philip III of Spain had Chiesa Nuova
constructed in the 17th century where Saint Francis’ family house supposedly stood before.
The pagan Tempio di Minerva,
constructed in the Roman epoch in honour of the goddess of peace was turned into a church which still has the six fluted pillars on its façade. The temple was depicted in the fresco Homage to the Simple Man
painted in the upper church of the Basilica of Saint Francis.
On via San Francesco is the Pinacoteca Comunale
housing Umbrian renaissance art pieces and frescoes by the Giotto
The enormous fortress Rocca Maggiore
has a commanding 360º view of the city and the valley. The fortress was frequently robbed and many times reconstructed. Narrow stairs and coridoors lead up to the viewing point and you can peek through the archer slots en route.
The Duomo di San Rufino
on Piazza San Rufino was built in the 13th century in the Romanesque style. Three centuries later modifications were carried out by Galeazzo Alessi. The fountain where Saint Francis and Santa Chiara were baptized is here. Grotesques and mythological creatures adorn its façade.
The Santuario di San Damiano
is a few steps away from the Porta Nuova. This site was where Francis heard Jesus´s voice for the first time and where he composed his canticle. The sanctuary also houses Saint Clare´s original convent, the cloisters and refectory dating back to the second decade of the 13th century.Eremo delle Carceri
was the retreat where Francis stayed after Jesus spoke to him and later on the retreat chosen by his followers.The site has been well preserved over the years. It is a good place from which to set off on a walk or picnic in Monte Subasio
The Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli
is within a stone's throw from the railway station. It´s construction was begun in 1565 and took 120 years to be finished. The basilica was erected surrounding the first monastery of the Franciscan order
and the tiny Porziuncola Chapel. Perugino painted his image of the Crucifixion on the back wall. The Cappella del Transito was where Saint Francis died in 1226.