The Cathedral of Orvieto

Duomo di Orvieto: Santa Maria Assunta, vista leggermente laterale della facciata e del fianco della cattedrale di Orvieto.

The History of a Centuries-old Building Site
Origins of the Cathedral of Saint Mary’s Assumption

The Cathedral is a sign of the presence of God, as well as of an active and industrious Christian community; it shows the relationship between God and His people’s yearning. The bond with the town history and its inhabitants is so strong that still nowadays the Cathedral is Orvieto’s very symbol, the monument that most shapes its identity.

Read more

Town Hall Square

Vista ravvicinata della fontana dei 3 leoni di assisi. In primo piano un leone dalla cui bocca esce uno zampillo d'acqua. Dietro il leone le vasche della fontana e parte della piazza sul fondo.

The Main Square in Assisi

Piazza del Comune (the town hall square) has always been the hub of social and cultural life in Assisi. Not by chance do all the main streets from the town gates meet here.
Built upon a Roman forum, in the Middle Ages it became the place for the people’s gatherings. Therefore, here rise the most important buildings of town life: the Temple of Minerva, also used as the oldest Town Hall in Assisi (later transferred to Palazzo dei Priori, the palace of Medieval “priors”); the palace of the Capitano del popolo (the “common people’s” – actually, the middle class’ – political spokesman), and the People’s Tower.

Read more

The Basilica of Saint Francis

Vista panoramica della Basilica di San Francesco. La vista, frontale leggermente scorciata verso destra, della facciata della basilica superiore e del complesso circostante emerge dal verde degli alberi circostanti. Sullo sfondo le campagne umbre.

Saint Francis’ Legacy

When in 1226 Saint Francis of Assisi died at the age of 44, he was already very famous, and his movement – a true religious Order since 1223 – was followed by thousands of people. They immediately felt they had to build a basilica that may keep his remains, show his importance for all the faithful of that era, and preserve his memory. So, on July 15, 1228, Papa Gregorio IX – who had personally been a friend of Francis – declared him a Saint, and at the same time laid the first stone of the basilica on the hill just off the city of  Assisi, northward. No more than seven years later, in 1235, the building made of two superimposed churches and a big belfry had already been completed, basically as we still see them nowadays. The Basilica of Saint Francis is undoubtedly one of the most famous and most frequently visited churches all over the world. It unites, in fact, a deep religious significance in connection with Saint Francis, and an exceptional value in itself, both historical and artistic.

Read more