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Assisi - The Autumn Woods of the Eremo (Hermitage),

Santa Maria degli Angeli and the Porziuncola Chapel where Saint Francis started out and died


Link to Basilica of Saint Francis and the Town of Assisi

Link to Chronology Entry for San Francesco (1182-1226)

Link to the only contemporary painting of Saint Francis


The woods around the Eremo, high above the town of Assisi, are particularly beautiful in Autumn.





San Francesco started out in 1211 in a little abandoned chapel in another forest on the plain below Assisi, said to date back to the 350s, and around it the straw and branch huts of the first Franciscan community sprang up. 


The Porziuncola Chapel can still be visited.  Alas, no longer in a a forest, and with the large and over-the-top church of Santa Maria degli Angeli (below) built over its top, the tiny Chapel and the beautiful frescos behind the alter still warrant a visit (which can also encompass the place where the Saint died, and a famous thornless rose bush ......). A reminder of a world in which everything was much smaller, but also of the power of a person to make something small very big! 


If you're there on 2 August you are also eligible for the Porziuncola indulgence which Francis (is said to have) negotiated with Pope Honorius III beside the deathbed of the powerful Innocent III in Perugia - you can research what that means!!


If you want to look at a good selection of books, ignore the huge nic-nac shop as you come out of the convent buildings, and go to the Franciscan bookshop on the south side of the piazza in front of the church (below on the right).












The outstandingly beautiful set of images behind the altar - centred on an Annunciation - are from the Tavolo di Prete Ilario di Viterbo (1393)







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