Visit roman Assisi, itineraries and recommendations
Famous for the spirituality it transmits, the tranquillity of the historic town centre is disturbed only by the coming and going of tourists and pilgrims.
A mediaeval place which offers many unique experiences, among history, spirituality and great food.
But an Assisi exists that you do not expect. An underground Assisi from Roman times. It is so beautiful and fascinating that it is defined the “Umbrian Pompeii”.
Less attentive visitors usually stop a few moments in front of the imposing Doric-Corinthian columns of the Tempio di Minerva (Temple of Minerva), which dates back to the first century B.C.
But for those that would like to discover the hidden or less obvious parts of this wonderful city, there is definitely no lack of opportunities.
ROMAN AMPHITHEATRE OF PORTA PERLICI
From the Tempio di Minerva (Chiesa di Santa Maria sopra Minerva) in the main square, follow via San Rufino to the area of Porta Perlici; a road which leads to the area of the Roman Amphitheatre in approx. 15 minutes.
Used mainly for games between gladiators, wild beasts and naval battles, the site has a unique characteristic.
Everything that was once part of the amphitheatre is either within a private courtyard or nearby.
In fact, over the years, especially in the Middle Ages, the remains of this site were used to build the surrounding houses.
Even today, it is possible to see decorations and architectural elements on the façades, dating back to the Roman period.
THE ROMAN CISTERN OF SAN RUFINO
A roman cistern dating back to the second half of the second century B.C. can be found inside the Cathedral of San Rufino. It is made up of an environment of dry in travertine.
The perfectly preserved cistern represented the city’s main water supply and the valuable feature can still be admired today.
There are also other elements present inside the cathedral which tell about the period of prosperity in Assisi under the Roman Empire: capitals, a Roman sarcophagus depicting the myth of Endymion and Selene.
DOMUS DI PROPERZIO (HOUSE OF PROPERTIUS)
Three environments have been found under the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, which very probably belong to a large property of patrician origin.
The environments that came to light are distinguished by a variety of incredible mosaics, drawings depicting animals and plants, various decorations that are very reminiscent of Pompeian houses.
The inner walls, with drawings of natural figures on a yellow background, are engraved with numerous graffiti of poetic verses, and one mentions a domus Musae.
For the scholar Guarducci, the house could have belonged to the famous elegiac poet Propertius, who was born in the Roman town of Assisi.
DOMUS DEL LARARIUM (HOUSE OF THE LARARIUM)
Splendid Roman house, which can be dated back to the second half of the first century B.C. and the first decades of the first century A.D. and made up from 13 rooms and a peristyle.
ASSISI DOMUS DEL LARARIUM
Floor mosaics were found inside along with walls decorated with bright Pompeian red and ochre colours, with images recalling scenes from family life.
The name Lararium derives from the discovery of a terracotta statue, which probably depicts one of the protectors of the house, Silvano, usually placed inside a votive shrine, precisely called the lararium.
It is estimated that the villa measures 400 m².
The domus can be visited with a guide by appointment every Saturday at 3 pm. Departure is from the IAT in Piazza del Comune, cost € 10 call 075-8138680 to make a reservation, languages: Italian and English. Groups max. 15 persons
Tel. 075.8138680 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE ROMAN FORUM
The Roman Forum is found under the Piazza del Comune. It was discovered in 1836 during excavations. Access is from via Portica, after the crypt of the former church of San Nicolò, which has several finds among which sarcophagi, capitals, inscriptions.
The Forum includes the base of the Temple of Minerva, with accesses to the main façade, a monumental cistern, a small temple dedicated to Castor and Pollux and a podium with seats for the magistrates of the time.
Roman Forum and Archaeological Collection Opening Times
From 1 June to 30 September: from 10 to 19.00
Full price € 5.00 – Reduced €3.00
Combined tickets: Full price €9.00 – Reduced €6.00
Reduced tickets are for: University students with ID, school children 8-18 years, over 65’s, groups of at least 20 people;
Free entry: students with guided tour, residents of Assisi, children up to 7 years, wheelchair users;
Inside the bar at the end of via San Rufino, there is a Roman floor mosaic, which was originally part of a domus.
Inside Bar Domus, in via Sant’Agnese, it is possible to appreciate another beautiful black and white mosaic, also belonging to a Roman house.