Recognized as a World Heritage Site by Unesco, the basilica of San Francesco was built starting in 1228, just two years after the saint's death, as a place destined to house his remains. The first stone was placed by Pope Gregory IX on 17 July 1228 the day after the canonization of San Francesco.
Composed of two churches, the Lower and the Upper, its crypt houses the Saint's tomb. This site played a significant role in the history of Italian art, hosting works by Giotto, Cimabue, Simone Martini and Pietro Lorenzetti.
“It is a jewel of Umbria, in the province of Perugia, perched on the slopes of Subasio mount. Assisi is the city of saints – Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Chiara of Assisi – its peaceful spirit is palpable with every step through its beautiful streets”.
The exterior of the basilica has evident references to French Gothic in the impetus of the façade and in the bipartite portal, mitigated by the horizontal shelves and the rose window, which have a purely Umbrian air, and by the heavy bell tower with a large plant. If the lower basilica, grave and obscure, invites to penance and silence, the upper one is soaring towards the sky, airy and luminous. Gothic in style with French influences, it has a nave with four bays, cross vaults, with a polygonal transept and apse.
Since the Middle Ages, Assisi it has been closely associated with the Franciscan movement, which promotes an important message of peace and tolerance throughout the world. In particular, the Basilica of San Francesco is considered a masterpiece, as well as an extraordinary example of a religious building that influenced the development of art and architecture in the city.