ASSISI is already too well known for its own good, thanks to St Francis, Italy’s premier saint and founder of the Franciscan order, which, with its various splinter groups, forms the world’s biggest religious order. Had the man not been born here in 1182 the town wouldn’t be thronged with visitors and pilgrims for ten months of the year, but then neither would it have the Basilica of St Francis, one of the greatest monuments to thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Italian art. You’ll probably feel it’s worth putting up with the crowds and increasingly overwhelming commercialism, but you may not want to hang around once you’ve seen all there is to see – something which can easily be done in a day. That said, Assisi quietens down in the evening, and it does retain considerable medieval hill-town charm.
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