To schedule a visit to Assisi, there are at least five good reasons that develop exactly on the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell.
The five senses, the soul and the heart
The view is the easiest to explain. Kidnaps the greenery the plateau of Mount Subasio, on which stands the Basilica of San Francesco, which is on two levels: the lower one, intended to origin like a crypt and burial church, and the upper, light and slender, which is home to the classroom monastic and the papal chapel. The pink stone of Assisi stands the azure of the sky where the clouds and the sunset, it seems a mirage the church built in Romanesque-Gothic style between 1228 and the XIV century.
And as early as the Lower Square you can admire the whole complex of the sanctuary.
But then the wonder increases coming through the Gothic portal ornately carved in a world of colors and exquisite figures, the frescoes of Simone Martini, Giotto, Pietro Lorenzetti, Cimabue: true masterpieces that once seen remain forever fixtures in the memory. The first frescoes in the basilica were made by Cimabue, the best teacher available then on the Italian market, while large scenes with Stories of St. Francis of the center of the nave, are attributed to Giotto.
About hearing, those approaching the Franciscan basilica should be exercised to silence, that here is so intense as to let listen. The taste is satisfied, after visits to the Franciscan sites, the Basilica and the Chapel of the Porziuncola at the center of the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli in the plain of Assisi, to the Umbrian cuisine with a workforce of extreme quality products: extra virgin olive oil, the delicious vegetables, fragrant truffles, cheeses, cold meats and cheeses, including, proud, belly and pork cheek. No you can not taste the cake to the “torta al testo” or crescia, made from unleavened dough and cooked on the “testo”, a red-hot stone disk: excellent with Norcia ham, sausages and arugula.
For the feel here we suggest that you do not limit yourself to look but to touch the stones of buildings, monuments and churches, corroded by the years, they will tell you more of a guide or a history book. Finally the sense of smell. When you look out from the adjacent loggia at the papal residence of the valley you can breathe deeply and penetrate into the nostrils of burning smells, mushrooms, fruit, grape, of smoke from chimneys pointing straight to the sky.
But we want to add to the reasons related to the five senses, even those related to the soul and the heart. In the land of Saint Francis even non believer feels kidnapped and able to find happiness in the simple and true things of life.
And then we left there a piece of our heart, in that island of peace suspended between heaven and earth that includes the monumental complex of the Basilica and the Sacred Convent in the World Heritage Site since 2000, where our Arturo followed us in the long corridors, the huge refectory classrooms, under the hypnotic row of the arcade arches and even bordering the area to house the Pope.
It will forever remain his, and our, the privilege of being the only dog to get in these places such mystics as the “big” refectory on which oversee the twenty-two large oval medallions hanging in frames in stucco on the two longitudinal walls, with portraits of well-deserving of the Franciscan Order.
Unique off-limits place for our four-legged friend the basilica, formed by overlapping two magnificent churches. To enter we had to leave Arturo in the front lobby to a young monk, thinking that perhaps St. Francis, so pet friendly enough to talk to wolves and birds, would not have allowed the most faithful companion of life of men to cross even that door.
Now that he’s gone, there remains to us the gentle reminder that, among the many trips tackled together, there was also the one in the “house” of the protector of animals.