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  • Basilica of St. Francis, Assisi, Italy
    Basilica of St. Francis


Crowned by a ruined castle, Assisi spills downhill to its famous Basilica of St. Francis, named after its hometown boy who made very, very good. Francis' legacy is now Assisi's basic industry, and mementos of his days in Assisi are everywhere — where he was baptized, a shirt he wore, a hill he prayed on, and the church where a vision changed his life. While this beautifully preserved Umbrian town bursts with flash-in-the-pan Francis fans in summer, even just a block or two off the main drag you can find pockets of serenity that, it's easy to imagine, must have made Francis feel at peace.