We wish to accompany you in the discovery of Roman Assisi on an unusual, lesser-known route, for once unconnected to the figure of Saint Francis who made the town famous throughout the world.
If you arrive by car, we advise you to leave it at Parcheggio Matteotti, situated at the top of the town. You can begin your walk from here, taking the nearby via dell'Anfiteatro Romano.
We are in the Porta Perlici district, where the Anfiteatro Romano dating back to the first half of the 1st century A.D. is located. Of the original structure where gladiators fought against each other and against wild animals, you will notice an arch of travertine wedges through which you can see the area that once held the arena, now occupied by a large garden. All around you will observe that the medieval buildings gradually incorporated the original structure of the amphitheatre, forming a harmonious union. Before your eyes, you will see a real fusion of different historical periods which will let you experience the various stages of Assisi's history from a single viewpoint.
Head back towards the car park and take via del Torrione, which you will find on your right. Along this route, you will see the remains of the Mausoleo (mausoleum) from the 1st century. A. D. – a massive concrete funerary building - and if you walk on another 100 metres, on the right through a gate you can catch sight of the arcate arches which are what remains of the terraces of the Teatro Romano.
Continuing down the road, the narrow via del Torrione ends opening on to Piazza San Rufino, continue along via San Rufino until you reach Piazza del Comune, the true secular centre of Assisi. You'll immediately be struck by the impressiveness of the Tempio di Minerva dating back to the 1st century A.D., which appears to be perfectly assimilated with the buildings from medieval times. You'll notice this typically Romanesque architecture with its Corinthian capitals and the majestic colonnade resting directly on its steps is perfectly conserved. Even Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was very taken with it during his ‘Italian Journey'.
Below piazza del Comune, you can also visit the Foro Romano and the Collezione Archeologica (archaeological collection). Piazza del Comune is the perfect place for a relaxing break: have a seat at one of the bar tables or stop for a meal in one of the many traditional restaurants in the area. If you wish to continue your visit, we advise you to head to the nearby DOMUS ROMANE: the ‘House of Sextus Propertius' in the vicinity of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore and the ‘Domus del Lararium'.
Opening times of the Roman Forum and Archaeological Collection
From November to February: from 10 am to 5 pm
March, April, May, October: from 10 am to 6 pm
From the 1st June to the 30th September: from 10 am to 7 pm
Full 5 € - Reduced 3 €
Integrated: full 9 € - Reduced 6 €
Discounts: university students with ID card, schools, 8 - 18 years, over 65 years old, groups of more than 20 people
Free: students with guided visits, residents in Assisi, children under 8 years old, immobile disabled people