From Perugia, there are about 20 trains daily (25–30 min.). From Florence (2–3 hr.), there are trains every 2 hours or so, though some require a transfer at Terontola. The station is in the modern valley town of Santa Maria degli Angeli, about 5km (3 miles) from Assisi, with bus connections to Assisi every 20 minutes (1€), or you can take a taxi for about 15€ to 20€.
By car, Assisi is 18km (11 miles) east of Perugia, off the SS75bis. The center’s steep streets are off limits to non-resident drivers. The best strategy is to park in Piazza Matteotti (1.15€ per hour), keep walking west, and finish at the basilica; it’s all downhill. A dependable alternative is the Mojano multi-story (1.05€ first 2 hrs.; 1.45€/hr. thereafter) halfway up the hill from Piazza Giovanni Paolo II to Porta Nuova. Escalators whisk you into the center of town.
Eight Umbria Mobilità buses (www.umbriamobilita.it; (tel) 800/512-141) run seven times daily (Mon–Fri) between Perugia and Assisi’s Piazza Matteotti (50 min.; 3.20€; 4€ if you pay on the bus). They also run about five buses from Gubbio (1 3/4 hr.). SULGA (www.sulga.it; (tel) 075-500-9641) runs two buses daily from Rome’s Tiburtina station, taking about 3 hours, and one daily trip from Piazza Adua in Florence, which takes about 2 1/2 hours.
The tourist office (www.comune.assisi.pg.it; (tel) 075-812-534) is in the Palazzo S. Nicola on Piazza del Comune. It’s open summer daily from 8am to 6:30pm, winter Monday through Saturday from 8am to 2pm and 3 to 6pm, Sunday from 9am to 1pm. The private websites www.assisionline.com and www.assisiweb.com also have good info.
Festivals & Markets
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. Call tel. 075-812-534 for info.
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.