Italy – art, vineyards, beautiful rolling hills – everything Frances Mayes promised us in Under the Tuscan Sun. Thank you, Mrs. Mayes for helping us fall in love with this southern European country.
I have to say, her beautiful words and imagery could not have been more accurate. The moment I set foot on Italian soil I felt as if I’d stumbled into a fairy tale. A new destination, yet, somehow, everything felt familiar. I felt…at home, crossing paths with the legends of some of the greatest artists, thinkers, and military leaders of all time.
By the time we reached central Italy my love affair with the country was in full swing. I knew that I would be visiting again. It was not a matter of choice, but a matter of need. Once you’ve been you’ll understand.
Want you to see for yourself if this magical fairy tale land is real? I know the perfect spot where you can spend a weekend sampling a taste of Italian culture. Go ahead and pack you bags! Your weekend in Italy awaits.
Assisi is a small hillside town located in the Umbria region, the central area of Italy. It’s quaint, ancient, and absolutely breathtaking. Whether you’re a solo traveler exploring the world, a couple looking for a romantic getaway, or a family seeking a taste of Italian culture, this tiny town has a lot to offer.
One of the most intriguing things about this medieval village is the charm of its residents. Despite the growing number of tourists who wander the streets of their town daily, the people who live in Assisi are warm and welcoming to all who enter their home. Maybe it’s because they live a slower lifestyle. Those all-important business meetings are not as important as who is hosting dinner. Kids are not shuffled from one activity to another. Technology is not a big deal. Italians are more concerned with family than the latest phone app. They shop daily in the local markets for their food, gather in the town’s central area to visit with friends and neighbors, and spend their evenings surrounded by loved ones. These things set this beautiful town apart from other vacation destinations.
Whether you want to stay in a hotel with a view of the rustic cobblestone streets of the town, or in a local agritourismo, there is something to fit every budget and travel style. In case you’ve never heard of an agriturismo, it is a local farm that has been set up to host guests. Think of it like a bed and breakfast. This is a great option when traveling with kids. It allows them room to run and play.
Assisi has no shortage of authentic Italian cuisine. The sauces, the seafood, the pasta. Oh, and the gelato. Do not, under any circumstance, leave Italy without tasting authentic gelato. I’m pretty sure there’s some sort of rule about that 🙂 Assisi had some of the best gelato we had during the entire trip. I highly recommend mint chip! I could go on, but I’m getting hungry thinking about it.
Don’t forget to grab a bottle of wine and a bottle of olive oil to bring home! These are two areas in which Italy is unmatched. And, it’s always nice to have a little taste of Italy on hand.
Assisi has so much to offer its guests. It is the ideal location for spending a weekend in Italy.
Travel to and From Italy:
- Leonardo da Vinci Airport in Rome – this airport offers international flights and is only a short, and scenic, 2 1/2 hour drive from Assisi.
Things to do in during your weekend in Italy:
- Soak in the ambiance – I can’t stress this one enough. No matter how much sightseeing you pack into your weekend in Italy, make sure to take some time to step back and take it all in.
- Stroll the cobblestone streets.
- Visit the Temple of Minerva – Today the building is a church, Santa Maria sopra Minerva. This ancient structure was built in the 1st century B.C.. The columns on the front of the building are over 2,000 years old!
- Explore the life of Saint Francis – Saint Francis is one of the most well-known saints in the Catholic faith. Assisi is his birthplace. His history is documented throughout the area.
- Visit the 13th century Bascilica di San Francesco. This beautiful church not only offers visitors a beautiful display of frescoes, but also beautiful Italian architecture.
- Roman ruins still abound in Italy. Ask around, locals can point you in the right direction.
- Santa Maria degli Angeli – has one of the largest sanctuaries in the Christian world. Beautiful frescoes as well as Porziuncola, the original chapel used by Saint Francis.
- Browse the shops – While some of the shops are tourist driven, there are some that sell beautiful Italian ceramics as well as other specialty items.
There you have it, the perfect spot for a weekend in Italy.
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