By Katie Shaw
23 August 2019
To celebrate experiences that bring Italy to life, here are a few of our favourite unique activities that truly take you to the heart of this beguiling country.Read more
Initially founded by the Umbrian people, Assisi became an important Roman town from the 3rd century BC onwards. In 238AD the town was converted to Christianity - which would later be of great significance to the town's most famous son. Assisi had a constant battle to remain independent of Perugia in the Middle Ages, though ultimately these attempts were futile.
By the early 13th century the town was suffering a deep decline after the Black Death decimated its population. Yet at about this time, Assisi came under Papal jurisdiction from Perugia, and a number of its buildings (in a poor state after the battles with Perugia) were rebuilt in a grander style. It began to develop rapidly at this time, and soon it expanded beyond its city walls.
It was also during this time that St Francis, a leading figure in the Christian faith, founded his Order and was the subject of adoration. Assisi experienced something of a golden age at this point. The magnificent Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli - one of Assisi's best-loved landmarks - was built in the 1570s, though by this time the city was experiencing something of a decline due to tight control from the Papacy. For a number of years Assisi was virtually forgotten, until in 1939 St Francis was declared the patron saint of Italy. Tourists and pilgrims alike flocked to the city to see where the great man had spent the early years of his life, and were delighted to find the beautiful, immaculately-preserved city that stands today.
Allow yourself to be immersed in the captivating culture, cuisine and history of Italy on this special tour. From pasta making and truffle hunting in the Umbrian countryside and staying at an authentic 'trulli' resort, to watching the Vatican City come to life before your eyes on a private visit, this tour takes you off the beaten track to showcase the very best hidden experiences Italy has to offer.
Discover this different side to Italy on an exclusive small group tour, as part of an intimate group of no more than 20 like-minded travellers. With our small group tours, you have all the advantages of travelling in a group as well as access to certain experiences and hotels not suitable for larger parties.… see more
12 daysView tour details >