In the city of St. Francis, all church holidays are pilgrim-ridden, solemn religious rites. Processions and church ceremonies -- occasionally mixed with some livelier restaurant feasts -- are celebrated throughout Easter Week and on Corpus Domini (early June), Festa del Voto (June 22), Festa del Perdono (Aug 1 and 2), Festa di San Rufino (Aug 11), Festa di Santa Chiara (Aug 12), Ascension Day (around Aug 15), Festa di San Francesco (Oct 3 and 4), and Christmas Eve and Day (Dec 24 and 25).

But for the Calendimaggio spring celebration, the first weekend (starting Thurs) after May 1, Assisi goes totally pagan. The town divides itself into "upper" and "lower" factions that date to the 1300s. The festivities, with processions, medieval contests of strength and skill, and late-night partying -- all in 14th-century costume, of course -- go back much further to the pre-Roman rites of spring. The winner of the contests gets to have the fair damsel of his choice declared Lady Spring. The whole shebang ends with a singing duel on the main piazza.

The regular weekly market takes place on Saturday along Via Alessi and Via San Gabriele dell'Addolorata.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.