We visited Assisi in 2010. We were invited as part of a University of Melbourne delegation discussing creating a Melbourne Uni annex and a lovely unused Palazzo there. We were fêted by the Mayor of Assisi and many others. We also got private viewings to archaeological digs, a massive and extremely meaty feast, and Jill had a private viewing of the restoration of Giotto’s frescoes.
As I remember, we stayed at a hotel about 2 km below Assisi in a town called Santa Maria degli Angeli. Jill caught a bus up the hill but I walked (wheeled) up the road called Viale Patrono d’Italia. This was about 2.5 km, in the last part was extremely steep. Well done my Quantum 6000 chair for making making it, and not overheating.
I had to retrace my steps at one point for half a km is the footpath became too narrow to get past momentarily. They might have accessible buses these days.
This is a lovely town in a lovely region. It is a joy just to wander about, experiencing the architecture, ambience and views. I shall list few highlights for us. The Cattedrale di San Rufino
is where where St Francis and Santa Chiara were baptised. There is a 3 inch step at the door, which were very heavy, but a nice Nun helped me in. Inside the main hall is austere. The floor has glass panels cleverly cut to reveal the old foundations below, which are Roman (third century I believe). There is also a side door which was so narrow that my tires scraped on each side into a corridor filled with kitsch but surprisingly human portraits of the Polish Pope in various “moods”. Some of these are enhanced by rather lurid rays of golden light and such. At the side of the square is a slightly dodgy ramp which got me into the shop and also the entrance to the tomb, via a lift. A lovely old Italian priest (born in Assisi) showed me about. It’s not extensive, as the access further down into the crypt itself is hopelessly and forgiveably inaccessible (although knowing the Italians, they may find a way to put a clever lift or a nifty passage for wheelchairs even down there)!
I also came upon a cute little amphitheatre off the top of the hill, near the top city gate. This area has good views of the old Castle nearby.
Another highlight was the Roman forum museum
. This is remarkably accessible for wheelies due to a glass pathway above the ancient ruins. We got a private tour with the Mayor and the curator. Check it out!