(Assisi, Umbria, Italy)
A historic town with a rich Umbrian heritage, Assisi contains a number of surprisingly good museums, such as both the Museo Civico and the Museo della Porziuncola.
The Museum of the Basilica can be found within the Lower Church of the Basilica di San Francesco (Basilica of St. Francis) and is one attraction not to miss. Assisi's Cathedral Museum and Crypt of St. Rufino may also be of interest and was established in the early 1940s, being home to a wealth of archaeological relics and magnificent paintings.
Cathedral Museum and Crypt of St. Rufino
Address: Piazza San Rufino, Assisi, IT-06081, Italy, IT
Tel: +39 075 812 712
The Cathedral Museum offers popular guided tours, which allow visitors to gain an insight into the exhibits on display and learn more about the crypt itself and the basilica's numerous frescoes, a number of which date from the 12th century. Attractions include a variety of religious vestments and an ancient Roman sarcophagus, used to bury St. Rufino (Rufinus of Assisi) around 1,800 years ago.
Open hours: daily, mid-March to mid-October - 10:00 to 13:00, 15:00 to 18:00; mid-October to mid-March - 10:00 to 13:00, 14:30 to 17:30
Admission: charge, discounts for children and seniors
Civic Museum and Roman Forum (Museo Civico / Foro Romano e Collezione Archeologica)
Address: Via Portica 2, IT-06081, Assisi, Italy, IT
Tel: 39 075 813 053
One of Assisi's most visited museums, the Museo Civico contains an extensive collection of both Umbrian and Roman artefacts, with many elaborate tombs, historic urns and impressive stone carvings. A winding passageway takes visitors beneath the town's central Piazza del Comune, leading to the Roman Forum (Foro Romano) and the Minerva Temple.
Open hours: daily, mid-March to mid-October - 10:00 to 13:00, 14:00 to 18:00; mid-October to mid-March - 10:00 to 13:00, 14:00 to 17:00
Museum of the Basilica
Address: Piazza di San Francesco, Assisi, IT-06081, Italy, IT
Tel: +39 075 819 901
Sited part way along the nave, the main highlight at the Museum of the Basilica is the crypt, where the actual remains of St. Francis are interred, being discovered here around 200 years ago. Particularly eye-catching is the spectacular Gothic-style fresco, which dates back to the 15th-century and is named the 'Madonna della Salute", depicting various saints. The decorated walls of the nave are also rather special, as is the 13th-century crucifix of Giunta Pisano and the actual religious robes of his holiness, St. Francis himself.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 09:00 to 12:00, 14:00 to 17:00
Museo della Porziuncola (Porziuncola Museum)
Address: Santa Maria degli Angeli, Assisi, Italy, IT
Tel: +39 075 805 1430
Located within the 16th-century Santa Maria degli Angeli basilica, the Porziuncola Museum is actually housed in an even older church, dating as far back as the 9th century. This sacred building is of great local significance and it is known that Francis of Assisi once started his religious Franciscan movement here. Inside the Museo della Porziuncola, visitors will find many valuable religious treasures and paintings, along with information about the historical pilgrimage.
Open hours: daily, April to October, 09:00 to 12:00, 15:00 to 18:30; November to March - 09:00 to 12:00, 15:30 to 18:00