Assisi

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Assisi
Comune di Assisi
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Panorama of Assisi
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Location of Assisi
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Assisi
Location of Assisi in Umbria
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Assisi
Assisi (Umbria)
Coordinates: 43°04′33″N12°37′03″E / 43.07583°N 12.61750°E / 43.07583; 12.61750
Country Italy
Region Umbria
Province Perugia (PG)
Frazioni Armenzano, Capodacqua, Castelnuovo, Palazzo, Petrignano, Rivotorto, Santa Maria degli Angeli, San Vitale, Sterpeto, Torchiagina, Tordandrea, Tordibetto, Col d'Erba, Col d'Erba III, Collicello, Passaggio di Assisi , Pian della Pieve, Pieve San Nicolò , Podere Casanova, Ponte Grande, Renaiola, Rocca Sant'Angelo , San Damiano, San Gregorio , San Martino, San Martino Basso, San Presto , Santa Tecla, Tomba, Tombetta, Valecchie
Government
  MayorStefania Proietti
Area
[1]
  Total187.19 km2 (72.27 sq mi)
Elevation
424 m (1,391 ft)
Population
 (2018-01-01) [2]
  Total28,352
  Density150/km2 (390/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Assisiani/Assisiati
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
06081
Dialing code 075
Patron saint St. Rufinus of Assisi
Saint day12 August
Website Official website
Official nameAssisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites
Includes San Damiano, Eremo delle Carceri, Santuario di Rivotorto, Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli and Palazzo del Capitano del Perdono
Criteria Cultural: i, ii, iii, iv, vi
Reference 990
Inscription2000 (24th Session)
Area14,563.25 ha
Buffer zone4,086.7 ha

Assisi ( /əˈssi/ , [3] also US: /-zi, əˈsɪsi, -ɪzi/ , [4] [5] [6] Italian:  [asˈsiːzi] ; from Latin : Asisium) is a town and comune of Italy in the Province of Perugia in the Umbria region, on the western flank of Monte Subasio.

American English Set of dialects of the English language spoken in the United States

American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. American English is considered one of the most influential dialects of English globally, including on other varieties of English.

<i>Comune</i> third-level administrative divisions of the Italian Republic

The comune is a basic administrative division in Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality.

Province of Perugia Province of Italy

The Province of Perugia is the larger of the two provinces in the Umbria region of Italy, comprising two-thirds of both the area and population of the region. Its capital is the city of Perugia. The province covered all of Umbria until 1927, when the province of Terni was carved out of its southern third. The province of Perugia has an area of 6,334 km² covering two-thirds of Umbria, and a total population of about 660,000. There are 59 comunes in the province. The province has numerous tourist attractions, especially artistic and historical ones, and is home to the Lake Trasimeno, the largest lake of Central Italy. It historically the ancestral origin of the Umbri, while later it was a Roman province and then part of the Papal States until the late 19th century.

Contents

It is generally regarded as the birthplace of the Latin poet Propertius, born around 50–45 BC. It is the birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order in the town in 1208, and St. Clare (Chiara d'Offreducci), the founder of the Poor Sisters, which later became the Order of Poor Clares after her death. The 19th-century Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows was also born in Assisi.

Propertius Latin elegiac poet

Sextus Propertius was a Latin elegiac poet of the Augustan age. He was born around 50–45 BC in Assisium and died shortly after 15 BC.

Francis of Assisi Catholic saint and founder of the Franciscan Order

Saint Francis of Assisi, born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, informally named as Francesco, was an Italian Catholic friar, deacon and preacher. He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women's Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.

A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usually characterized by the principles of its founder's religious practice. The order is composed of laypeople and, in some orders, clergy. Religious orders exist in many of the world's religions.

History

Around 1000 BC a wave of immigrants settled in the upper Tiber valley as far as the Adriatic Sea, and also in the neighborhood of Assisi. These were the Umbrians, living in small fortified settlements on high ground. From 450 BC these settlements were gradually taken over by the Etruscans. The Romans took control of central Italy after the Battle of Sentinum in 295 BC. They built the flourishing municipium Asisium on a series of terraces on Monte Subasio. Roman remains can still be found in Assisi: city walls, the forum (now Piazza del Comune), a theatre, an amphitheatre and the Temple of Minerva (now transformed into the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva). In 1997, the remains of a Roman villa were also discovered containing several well-preserved rooms with frescoes and mosaics in a condition rarely found outside sites such as Pompei.

Tiber river in Italy

The Tiber is the third-longest river in Italy, rising in the Apennine Mountains in Emilia-Romagna and flowing 406 kilometres (252 mi) through Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio, where it is joined by the river Aniene, to the Tyrrhenian Sea, between Ostia and Fiumicino. It drains a basin estimated at 17,375 square kilometres (6,709 sq mi). The river has achieved lasting fame as the main watercourse of the city of Rome, founded on its eastern banks.

Adriatic Sea Body of water between the Italian Peninsula and the Balkan Peninsula

The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto to the northwest and the Po Valley. The countries with coasts on the Adriatic are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia. The Adriatic contains over 1,300 islands, mostly located along the Croatian part of its eastern coast. It is divided into three basins, the northern being the shallowest and the southern being the deepest, with a maximum depth of 1,233 metres (4,045 ft). The Otranto Sill, an underwater ridge, is located at the border between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. The prevailing currents flow counterclockwise from the Strait of Otranto, along the eastern coast and back to the strait along the western (Italian) coast. Tidal movements in the Adriatic are slight, although larger amplitudes are known to occur occasionally. The Adriatic's salinity is lower than the Mediterranean's because the Adriatic collects a third of the fresh water flowing into the Mediterranean, acting as a dilution basin. The surface water temperatures generally range from 30 °C (86 °F) in summer to 12 °C (54 °F) in winter, significantly moderating the Adriatic Basin's climate.

Umbri

The Umbri were Italic people of ancient Italy. A region called Umbria still exists and is now occupied by Italian speakers. It is somewhat smaller than the ancient Umbria.

In 238 AD Assisi was converted to Christianity by bishop Rufino, who was martyred at Costano. According to tradition, his remains rest in the Cathedral Church of San Rufino in Assisi.

Christianization is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire groups at once. Various strategies and techniques were employed in Christianization campaigns from Late Antiquity and throughout the Middle Ages. Often the conversion of the ruler was followed by the compulsory baptism of his subjects. Some were evangelization by monks or priests, organic growth within an already partly Christianized society, or by campaigns against paganism such as the conversion of pagan temples into Christian churches or the condemnation of pagan gods and practices. A strategy for Christianization was Interpretatio Christiana – the practice of converting native pagan practices and culture, pagan religious imagery, pagan sites and the pagan calendar to Christian uses, due to the Christian efforts at proselytism (evangelism) based on the Great Commission.

Rufinus of Assisi Bishop of Assisi

According to legend, Rufinus of Assisi, who is the patron saint of Assisi, Italy, was the first bishop of Assisi. He was responsible for converting Assisi to Christianity, but at what date is disputed. He is said to have died as a martyr at Costano, where the church was dedicated to him in 1038, and whence, according to Petrus Damiani, his relics were translated to Assisi in the 8th century. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia he is likely the same saint denoted under 11 August in the Roman Martyrology as Episcopus Marsorum.

Costano Frazione in Umbria, Italy

Costano is a frazione of the comune of Bastia Umbra in the Province of Perugia, Umbria, central Italy. It stands at an elevation of 191 metres above sea level. At the time of the Istat census of 2001 it had 782 inhabitants.

The Ostrogoths of king Totila destroyed most of the town in 545. Assisi then came under the rule of the Lombards as part of the Lombard and then Frankish Duchy of Spoleto.

Ostrogoths

The Ostrogoths were the eastern branch of the older Goths. The Ostrogoths traced their origins to the Greutungi – a branch of the Goths who had migrated southward from the Baltic Sea and established a kingdom north of the Black Sea, during the 3rd and 4th centuries. They built an empire stretching from the Black Sea to the Baltic. The Ostrogoths were probably literate in the 3rd century, and their trade with the Romans was highly developed. Their Danubian kingdom reached its zenith under King Ermanaric, who is said to have committed suicide at an old age when the Huns attacked his people and subjugated them in about 370.

Totila King of the Ostrogoths

Totila, original name Baduila, was the penultimate King of the Ostrogoths, reigning from 541 to 552 AD. A skilled military and political leader, Totila reversed the tide of the Gothic War, recovering by 543 almost all the territories in Italy that the Eastern Roman Empire had captured from his Kingdom in 540.

Lombards Historical ethnical group

The Lombards or Longobards were a Germanic people who ruled most of the Italian Peninsula from 568 to 774.

The thriving commune became an independent Ghibelline commune in the 11th century. Constantly struggling with the Guelph Perugia, it was during one of those battles, the battle at Ponte San Giovanni, that Francesco di Bernardone (Saint Francis of Assisi) was taken prisoner, setting in motion the events that eventually led him to live as a beggar, renounce the world and establish the Order of Friars Minor.

Medieval commune

Medieval communes in the European Middle Ages had sworn allegiances of mutual defense among the citizens of a town or city. These took many forms and varied widely in organization and makeup.

Guelphs and Ghibellines Rival political factions in Medieval Italy

The Guelphs and Ghibellines were factions supporting the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, respectively, in the Italian city-states of central and northern Italy. During the 12th and 13th centuries, rivalry between these two parties formed a particularly important aspect of the internal politics of medieval Italy. The struggle for power between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire had arisen with the Investiture Controversy, which began in 1075 and ended with the Concordat of Worms in 1122. The division between the Guelphs and Ghibellines in Italy, fuelled by the imperial Great Interregnum, persisted until the 15th century.

Perugia Comune in Umbria, Italy

Perugia is the capital city of both the region of Umbria in central Italy, crossed by the river Tiber, and of the province of Perugia. The city is located about 164 kilometres north of Rome and 148 km southeast of Florence. It covers a high hilltop and part of the valleys around the area. The region of Umbria is bordered by Tuscany, Lazio, and Marche.

Temple of Minerva in the Piazza del Comune. Assisi Piazza del Comune BW 1.JPG
Temple of Minerva in the Piazza del Comune.

The city, which had remained within the confines of the Roman walls, began to expand outside these walls in the 13th century. In this period the city was under papal jurisdiction. The Rocca Maggiore, the imperial fortress on top of the hill above the city, which had been plundered by the people in 1189, was rebuilt in 1367 on orders of the papal legate, cardinal Gil de Albornoz.

In the beginning Assisi fell under the rule of Perugia and later under several despots, such as the soldier of fortune Biordo Michelotti, Gian Galeazzo Visconti and his successor Francesco I Sforza, dukes of Milan, Jacopo Piccinino and Federico II da Montefeltro, lord of Urbino. The city went into a deep decline through the plague of the Black Death in 1348.

The city came again under papal jurisdiction under the rule of Pope Pius II (1458–1464).

In 1569 construction was started of the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli. During the Renaissance and in later centuries, the city continued to develop peacefully, as the 17th-century palazzi of the Bernabei and Giacobetti attest.

Now the site of many a pilgrimage, Assisi is linked in legend with its native son, St. Francis. The gentle saint founded the Franciscan order and shares honors with St. Catherine of Siena as the patron saint of Italy. He is remembered by many, even non-Christians, as a lover of nature (his preaching to an audience of birds is one of the legends of his life).

The basilica in May 2017 Basilica di San Francesco, May 2017.jpg
The basilica in May 2017

Assisi was hit by two devastating earthquakes, that shook Umbria in September 1997. But the recovery and restoration have been remarkable, although much remains to be done. Massive damage was caused to many historical sites, but the major attraction, the Basilica di San Francesco, reopened less than 2 years later.

Main sights

UNESCO collectively designated the Franciscan structures of Assisi as a World Heritage Site in 2000.

Churches

Other landmarks

Eremo delle Carceri. Assisi02.jpg
Eremo delle Carceri.

The town is dominated by two medieval castles. The larger, called Rocca Maggiore , is a massive reconstruction by Cardinal Albornoz (1366) and expanded by popes Pius II (polygonal tower, 1458) and Paul III (the cylindrical bastion near the entrance, 1535-1538). The smaller of the two was built in Roman era: it has been only partially reserved, a small portion and three towers being open to the public.

Other sights include:

Pietro Lorenzetti fresco detail, Assisi Basilica, 1310-1329. Pietro lorenzetti, compianto (dettaglio) basilica inferiore di assisi (1310-1329).jpg
Pietro Lorenzetti fresco detail, Assisi Basilica, 1310–1329.

Art

See also Art in Assisi

Assisi has had a rich tradition of art through the centuries and is now home to a number of well known artistic works. [8]

Artists Pietro Lorenzetti and Simone Martini worked shoulder to shoulder at Assisi. The Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi includes a number of artistic works. Simone Martini's 1317 fresco there reflects the influence of Giotto in realism and the use of brilliant colors. Lorenzetti's fresco at the lower church of the Basilica includes a series of panels depicting the Crucifixion of Jesus, Deposition from the Cross, and Entombment of Christ. The figures Lorenzetti painted display emotions, yet the figures in these scenes are governed by geometric emotional interactions, unlike many prior depictions which appeared to be independent iconic aggregations. Lorenzetti's 1330 Madonna dei Tramonti also reflects the ongoing influence of Giotto on his Marian art, midway through his career. [9] [10]

Culture

c. 1920 travel poster Assisi, travel poster for ENIT, ca. 1920.jpg
c. 1920 travel poster

The Calendimaggio Festival takes place on the first four days of May ending on a Saturday. It is a re-enactment of medieval and Renaissance life in the form of a challenge between the upper faction and the lower faction of the town. It includes processions, theatrical presentations, choirs, crossbow, flag-waving and dancing contests.

Assisi Embroidery is a form of counted-thread embroidery which has been practised in Assisi since the 13th century.

Today the town has many groups coming to enjoy the simple peace of St. Francis. One such group has restored an 11th-century room and added altars to the world's religions. Other organizations, such as Assisi Performing Arts, complement Assisi's tranquility with music and other cultural events.

Saints

Assisi was the home of several saints. They include:

Transport

Assisi railway station, opened in 1866, forms part of the Foligno–Terontola railway, which also links Florence with Rome. The station is located at Piazza Dante Alighieri, in the frazione of Santa Maria degli Angeli, about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) southwest of the city centre.

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Assisi is twinned with:

Others

The two major basilicas sited in Assisi (the only ones not in Rome) gave their name to the two major cities in California: San Francisco and St. Mary of the Angels at the Porziuncula.

Appearances in media

In video games

Sources

  1. "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. "Assisi". Oxford Dictionaries . Oxford University Press . Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  4. "Assisi". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  5. "Assisi". Collins English Dictionary . HarperCollins . Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  6. "Assisi". Merriam-Webster Dictionary . Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  7. Harris, W.; DARMC, R. Talbert; S. Gillies, J. Åhlfeldt; J. Becker, T. Elliott. "Places: 413037 (Asisium)". Pleiades. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  8. Lorenzetti works at Web Gallery of Art
  9. Uffizi Galleries
  10. "Umbria Art". Archived from the original on 30 January 2009. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  11. "Bethlehem Municipality". www.bethlehem-city.org. Archived from the original on 24 July 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2009.

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Monte Subasio peak in the Apennines

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Assisi Cathedral cathedral San Rufino, Assisi

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San Damiano cross Romanesque painted cross

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Sacro Convento Franciscan friary in Assisi, Umbria, Italy, part of the Basilica of San Francesco dAssisi

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San Damiano, Assisi church

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Clare of Assisi Italian saint

Saint Clare of Assisi is an Italian saint and one of the first followers of Saint Francis of Assisi. She founded the Order of Poor Ladies, a monastic religious order for women in the Franciscan tradition, and wrote their Rule of Life, the first set of monastic guidelines known to have been written by a woman. Following her death, the order she founded was renamed in her honour as the Order of Saint Clare, commonly referred to today as the Poor Clares. Her feast day is on 11 August.

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Assisi Diocesan Museum Diocesan museum, Archeology, Sacred art, Architecture in Palazzo dei Canonici - Piazza San Rufino, Assisi

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