We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“The heart of post-Francis Franciscanism” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Basilica di San Francesco

Basilica di San Francesco
Piazza San Francesco, 2, 06081 Assisi, Italy
(+39) 075.8190084
Website
Improve this listing
Ranked #1 of 43 Attractions in Assisi
Type: Churches/ Cathedrals, Cultural
Activities: Walking
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: This Basilica is a treasure trove of paintings by such masters as Simone Martini, Pietro Lorenzetti, Cimabue, Giotto and many others.
Lancaster, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
182 reviews 182 reviews
47 attraction reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
448 helpful votes 448 helpful votes
“The heart of post-Francis Franciscanism”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

Francis's followers were bitterly divided over the building of such a grand basilica shortly after the saint's death. After all, he wanted only simplicity and poverty!

How good for subsequent generations that Brother Elia triumphed over the purists! For it is from the murals by Giotto that most of us have acquired pictorial knowledge of the little saint.

We were all distressed when the earthquake damaged these precious walls - but the damage has been sensitively and cleverly restored.

Every time we visit we seem to encounter huge American choirs singing at Mass in the upper basilica. This obviously brings great joy to them!

The most special place - though it is difficult to get down the steps - is the lowest level. Here are the tombs of St Francis and his closest friends. There is a reverent silence and the lamps are low and solemn.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,244 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    1,941
    251
    34
    8
    10
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Rome, Italy
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Not to be feared if accompanying less mobile relatives!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

My mother in-law uses a cane and is tired by steps so with some concern we visited the Basilica on a quiet February. Arriving at the lower Basilica makes sense as the drop off by taxi is right by the entrance (toilets are found nearby so plan ahead!). Unfortunately the lower crypt was a step too far but the plentiful chairs throughout were ideal for quiet contemplation of what is a lovely and unique space dedicated to St Francis. After 3 years living in Rome I thought I was dulled by so many experiences but the lower Basilica does impress. The upper Basilica is one short and one longer staircase away but less interesting and frankly nothing special. Energized by a cappucino we also made it back slowly to the center of town so fear not if you decide to visit Assisi!

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naples, Italy
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“beautiful church”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

Key church to see in Asissi. Follow Rick Steve's book for details.

Very picturesque scenery from the top of the hill overlooking Umbria.

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rome, Italy
Top Contributor
336 reviews 336 reviews
161 attraction reviews
Reviews in 85 cities Reviews in 85 cities
269 helpful votes 269 helpful votes
“Magnificent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2014

The basilica, with its many arches, dominates one's view when approaching old Assisi. It seems to cling to the hillside and hold the rest of the town in place. (Daytime and nighttime views are stunning.) Both the upper church and lower church, as well as the crypt, are worth the tourist's time--even those who are not religious pilgrims. Be sure to take a good guidebook to help interpret the frescoes in the upper church or download the app for your tablet or smartphone that will provide helpful information about this important structure. There is no charge for entry. A gift shop offers wonderful books as well as tacky souvenirs. Prepare to spend about 60-90 minutes here.

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
plattsburgh, ny
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“A wonderful peaceful place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2014

I have seen bigger and more grand churches but this basilica is in keeping with the message of St Francis. It is multi story with garden grounds on the upper level and the lower level opens into the colonnaded piazza. The interior was beautiful but simple if that can be used to describe any church built 800 years ago. As it is on the lower slope of the hill,it is an easier walk to start at the other end and end up here

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Basilica di San Francesco also viewed

Assisi, Province of Perugia
Assisi, Province of Perugia
 
Assisi, Province of Perugia
Assisi, Province of Perugia
 

Been to Basilica di San Francesco? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Basilica di San Francesco, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.