Umbria region has got a rich heritage of churches, cathedrals, convents, monasteries, hermitages and sanctuaries, that make this territory really attractive for spiritual trips.
A journey into Umbria is recommended by foot, bycicle or motorcicle, to have a clear vision of a wonderful landscape where you are immersed in history, various historical periods.
One thing to do is to learn a bit about the architecture of religious buildings before your holiday or in the meanwhile too. Churches and cathedrals in Umbria have been built in pre-Roman times too. Narni, Assisi, Spoleto, these places evidence the long persistence of patterns and decorative motifs of Roman basilicas. Then the age of Umbrian Romanesque with its sculptural heritage and the influence of local traditions (Spoleto with its Lombard influences).
The role of the nature, that let prayers have mystical contemplation and the presence of buildings that signify historical and cultural identification, make Umbria a special land where spirituality is widespread.
The art and holiness make Umbria a casket of sensuous beauty and mysticism that is reflected in the setting of the natural environment. Visitor who open their souls with a spirit of willingness in order to accept the message that rises from the hills, from churches and shrines, from protective Madonnas, are witnesses of an indelible memory.
The first and the most famous itinerary in Umbria is Franciscan Itinerary, where pilgrims and tourists are invited to a fascinating journey with hermits, contemplative people, poor beggars.
At the edges of Umbria, Terni procrastinate the memory of the bishop and martyr St. Valentine, revered uncorrectly throughout the world as the patron of lovers.
Francis of Assisi is Umbria’s most famous son. The little man who called himself “simplex et idiot, was actually a genius and a mystic poetry. Its human story has touched and continues to move Christians of all denominations, religious and laity. In Assisi you can visit the tomb that preserves the rests of the Saint, set into the massive basilica that bears his name, where greatest artists of the thirteenth century, such as Giotto and Cimabue, have narrated his life.
Francis has passed throughout the region, leaving traces, companion, friends, confidants and a follower, Clare, who has translated the Franciscan spirit to the feminine side of life.
Here is the complete list of cities in Umbria that are in someway linked to Saint Francis’ life. La Verna, Umbertide, Gubbio, Assisi, Cortona, Città della Pieve, Isola Maggiore on Lake Trasimeno, Calvi, Todi, Narni, Amelia, Bettona, Foligno, Deruta, Perugia, Montecasale, Vallingegno Caprignone, Giomici, Città di Castello, Collestrada, Assisi, Spoleto, Cannara, Gubbio, Valfabbrica, San Gregorio.
The best thing you can do is to choose an itineray connecting these spots.
Image Flickr Creative Commons license courtesy by Stefano Pertusati