Key to Umbria: Assisi


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Please, please stay at least one night in Assisi, rather than joining the hordes of day trippers.   There is much to interest you, even after you have fully explored the splendours of the Basilica di San Francesco.

Travel to Assisi

The easiest way to reach Assisi is to fly from Stansted to Perugia Airport.  A taxi from there to your hotel costs 25 Euro (as at June 2009) and takes about 20 minutes.

You can also reach the city from Rome:

  1. by bus (Sulga) direct to Assisi from the airport (Roma Fiumicino), although there is only one service each day at 9 am (or three, including this one, from Roma Tiburtina); or

  2. by train from Roma Termini or Roma Tiburtina, although you will probably have to change at Foligno.  You will arrive at Santa Maria degli Angeli, some 3 km from the city centre.  A taxi to your hotel will cost about 10 Euros, and there is alternatively a frequent bus service to Porta San Pietro and Piazza Matteoti in Assisi.

There are buses from Assisi (Piazza Matteotti or Porta di San Pietro) to Perugia and also to Spello and Foligno.  You sometimes need to change at Santa Maria degli Angeli (see above),   which also has good connections with Perugia and with Spello and Foligno by train.  The bus from Assisi stops at:

  1. the railway station; and then

  2. at Piazza Garibaldi, where you can make bus connections.  

Staying in Assisi

There are lots of hotels in the city.  I can recommend:

  1. Hotel Umbra, right in the city centre;

  2. Hotel Pallotta, which is also central and great value;

  3. the Residenza d’ Epoca San Crispino;

  4. Hotel il Palazzo; and

  5. Hotel San Francesco, overlooking San Francesco.  

I have not yet stayed at Relais Nun, a spa hotel and restaurant in the ex-nunnery of Santa Caterina, but I enjoyed a very nice lunch here.

There is a list of religious institutions that offer accommodation on this page of Assisi Online.

Eating in Assisi

There are a number of good restaurants in Assisi, including:

  1. Ristorante Taverna de l' Arco Da Bino, 8 Via San Gregorio (075 812 383);

  2. Ristorante Metastasio, 9 Via Metastasio (075 816 525), with a lovely terrace from which to watch the sunset;

  3. Ristorante Il Frantoio, 10 Vicolo Illuminati, with great views from the terrace;

  4. Taverna dei Consoli, which has a terrace above the wine bar near the fountain in Piazza del Comune;

  5. Trattoria degli Umbri, 40 Piazza di Comune, to the right of Taverna dei Consoli (075 812 455);

  6. Ristorante la Fortezza, Piazza di Comune, a little way up the street between Taverna dei Consoli and Trattoria Degli Umbri, which has exposed remains of the Roman terrace;

  7. Trattoria Pallotta, under the lovely Volta Pinta, off Piazza del Comune;

  8. Nuova Osteria La Piazzetta, 15a Via San Gabriele dell’ Addolorata (075 815 352);

  9. Ristorante da Cecco, opposite Piazza San Pietro (which belongs to Hotel Berti);

  10. Trattoria da Ermino, 19 Via Montecavallo (075 812 506);

  11. I Monaci, 10 Via Scalette (the steps between Via Fortini and Piazzetta Garibaldi), which does (among other things) great pizza (075 812 512);

  12. Magna Vino, 2 Via Francalancia (off Corso Mazzini, on the left as you leave Piazza del Comune), which is also a wine bar;

  13. two restaurants near Santa Maria degli Angeli:

  14. La Basilica, 11 Via Protomartiri Francescani, behind the apse of (075 804 491); 

  15. the trattoria of Hotel "Da Elide", Via Patrono d' Italia (075 804 0221); and

  16. La Stalla, Via Eremo delle Carceri, which is outside the city but well worth the trip (075 812 317).

A number of hotels and restaurants in Assisi have interesting Roman remains, including:

  1. Pizzeria il Pozzo Romano;

  2. Ristorante Medio Evo;

  3. Ristorante il Menestrello;

  4. Locanda del Cardinale; and

  5. Hotel la Rocca.

There are a number of comfortable bars in Piazza del Comune; my favourite for breakfast is Caffé Minerva, opposite the Roman temple, which is the first to get the sun.  Other good bars include:

  1. Caffé Duomo, 5 Piazza San Rufino, which is also an internet café; 

  2. the bar of Ristorante San Francesco; and

  3. three in Corso Mazzini:

  4. Caffé del Lion d’ Oro, at number 11;

  5. Bar Pasticceria Sensi, at number 14; and

  6. Gran Caffé, at number 16a.


Interesting shops in Assisi include:

  1. Gambacorta, Bottega del Bongustaio, which is an excellent delicatessen;

  2. Il Baccanale, 2 Via del Comune Vecchia, which sells wine and also carries a wide range of good  chocolate; and

  3. Maurizio Zubboli’s bookshop  in Palazzo Bonacquisti, at 5 Piazza del Comune, which his family established in 1870.

Taxis and Guide Books

I met two great taxi drives, both of whom speak English and know Assisi well:

  1. Giovanni Corridoni (075 816 645/ 347 377 2330, ; and

  2. Mauro Sannipola (348 514 8919). 

The most comprehensive guide to Assisi is: “Guide to Assisi: History and Art” by Pier Maurizio Della Porta, Ezio Genovesi and Elvio Lunghi, Editrice Minerva (1991), which is available in Maurizio Zubboli’s bookshop.  (It is available on line from the publisher, Minerva Editrice, in Italian, English and German).

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