Assisi is a city in the province of Perugia, Umbria. It covers an area of 187 square kilometres and has a population of approximately 28,000 people. The city is located on the western side of Monte Subasio and has a striking profile, dominated by the Basilica of Saint Francis, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although the area was inhabited around 1,000 BC, the Romans captured the area in the Battle of Sentinum in 295BC and they built the city of Asisium on a series of terraces on Monte Subasio. The city is still located within its original Roman walls and the well-preserved remains of a Roman villa was discovered in 1997.
Assisi is the birthplace of Saint Francis, and it was here that he established the Franciscan Order in 1224, one of the most influential monastic orders in the Christian world. Many of the important places in the story of Saint Francis are in Assisi such as the grottoes of Le Carceri, San Damiano, and the Porziuncola, which is where he died. He was canonised in 1228 and work began on constructing the Basilica of San Francesco, a masterpiece of medieval architecture and home to many important works of art by Cimabue, Pietro Lorenzetti, Simone Martini and Giotto. Assisi was also the birthplace of Saint Clare (Chiara d'Offreducci), who founded the sister order of the Franciscans, called the Poor Sisters, which later became the Order of Poor Clares after her death. She too was canonised and the construction of the Basilica of San Francesco was followed by that of the Basilica of Santa Chiara to honour Saint Clare.
The Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Order of Friars Minor, the full name of the Franciscan Order, and is one of the most important places of Christian pilgrimage in Italy. It was built on the 'Hill of Paradise', alongside the city of Assisi, and consists of two churches known as the Upper Church and the Lower Church, and a crypt where the remains of the saint are buried.
Population density: 150.6 per square km
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