Travel and Culture in Umbria
Assisi, as the rest of the region, was originally inhabited by the Umbrians.
Later, the town felt the Etruscan and Roman influence. This one is proved by the numerous Roman remnants, as the front of Minerva’s Temple, the Forum’s remnants, the Roman walls and the Amphitheatre.
After the fall of the Roman Empire the town, in about 545, was sieged by the Gothes and the Longobards. Only in 1000 it became an independent commune and, precisely in this period, it had an extraordinary development, above all thanks to the monastic activities (in particular the Benedictines’ones).
St Francis, the most famous Assisi’s citizen, was born here in about 1180 and in 1202, during a war against the nearby Perugia, Francis was imprisoned for more than a year.
From 1206 he devoted himself to Christ by serving and helping the poor and living as a poor himself. His very famous public renunciation of all his rich father’s possessions was made in Assisi square.
In 1228, only two years after his death, Francis was proclaimed saint by Pope Gregory IX. From that moment on, the town became first an imperial and then a papal dominion.
Later it went under the rule of some important signorie: Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Montefeltro family, Braccio Fortebraccio and Francesco Sforza.
This went on till the first half of the 16th century, when Umbria was conquered by Pope Paul III, who built the famous fortress called “Rocca Paolina” in Perugia, re-establishing in this way the papal control over the town and over all the other settlements.
Some centuries later, in the 19th century, the town became part of the rising Italian State, together with the Umbrian towns.