Your day trip from Rome to Assisi starts as you leave the city by car, heading north along the River Tiber toward the region of Umbria, a picturesque piece of central Italy that neighbors Tuscany.
After an approximate 1.5-hour drive, arrive in Orvieto, a hill town that seems to rise dramatically out of the volcanic rock it’s perched on and is known for its long history dating back to the Etruscans. Explore town on foot, enjoying the Italian charm and passing by many churches, particularly Orvieto Cathedral, a Gothic structure that dates back to the late 1200s and is noted for its stained glass, sculptures and mosaics. Back on your car, continue across the rolling landscapes toward Lake Trasimeno.
Then head to Assisi, a World Heritage–listed town famed for being the birthplace of St Francis of Assisi, a patron saint of Italy and one of the most legendary figures in religious history. Take a walking tour of town to see sites related to St Francis’ life, including the stall where he is thought to have been born, his former home and the place where he vowed to dedicate his life to the church.
You’ll also learn about Assisi’s other hometown saint, St Clare, one of St Francis’ followers. Visit both the Convent of Santa Chiara, named for her, and the Basilica di San Francesco, dedicated to St Francis, plus see other Assisi sights like Piazza del Comune, Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, the town hall and the Roman Temple of Minerva.
Then start the drive from Assisi to Rome, stopping on the way in Santa Maria degli Angeli to visit its 9th-century basilica where St Francis is said to have worshipped. Your day trip ends when you arrive back in Rome.