Woodland donated to FAI by Intesa Sanpaolo in 2008
Through a gateway in the wall surrounding the square in front of the Basilica Superiore in Assisi, you enter a narrow path that leads to a wide valley floor, at the foot of the city centre. This is no ordinary excursion; rather, it is an ongoing, peaceful discovery, a new form of pilgrimage into history and into the sacred, through 64 hectares of nature, amid wooded tracts, cultivated fields, walls of pink stone, clearings and olive groves – a 64-hectare plot that years of neglect had reduced to a dumping ground, but which FAI has now salvaged in its entirety.
Making your way now into the woodland, surrounded by hornbeam, juniper, maple and downy oak, you come first to the bed of the River Tescio and, next to it, you can see the evidence of a microcosm inhabited by Benedictine nuns in the 13th and 14th centuries: a convent (now home to the FAI information point); the Romanesque church of Santa Croce; a mill that was operational until the early 20th century (now housing a trattoria serving meals to visitors); the remains of a hospital that treated the diseased and passing pilgrims; and an ancient 14th-century tower erected to defend an early factory.
Climbing to the top of the tower is worth the effort, since it will allow you to admire fully the “Third Paradise”, a piece of land art by renowned artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, which takes the form of 121 olive trees arranged in a double row to form three large, tangential circles (of which the central one is the largest), and featuring a 12-metre-high pole to symbolise the union between heaven and earth. You are invited to make your way round the serpentine path between the rows, becoming in the process a part of this work, which encourages you to reflect on the potential for peaceful co-existence between mankind and nature, here symbolised by the third sphere – the “third paradise” of the title .
The San Francesco Woodland re-opens to the public on Saturday, 3 March, 2018, and thereafter will have the following opening hours:
• March: 10am – 4pm
• April to September: 10am – 4pm
• From 1 October to 7 January: 10am – 4pm
• October weekend: 10am – 6pm
From the E45 Highway (“Superstrada E45 Cesena-Orte”): follow the signs for Assisi (SS 75) and then exit at “Ospedalicchio Sud” (SS 147).
On reaching Assisi, at the end of the straight road, turn into Via San Vittorino and continue until you reach the signposted parking facilities at the Benedictine complex of Santa Croce. Another possible entrance, also signposted, is from Piazza Superiore di San Francesco.
Recommended car parks in Assisi: “Giovanni Paolo II” and “San Giacomo” car parks.
Parking for cars on Via San Vetturino at the Benedictine complex of Santa Croce. Parking for buses and coaches at the start of Via San Vetturino
Guided tours are available for groups, as are special visits, in Italian and other languages. Prior booking essential.
The charges are as follows.
• FAI members: €5
• Adults: €7
• Children aged 4-14: €5
• National Trust members: €5
For information and bookings: email@example.com
Purchases from the bookshop make a tangible contribution to supporting the work of FAI
There is a fully equipped picnic area, with the option to reserve tables.
Osteria del Mulino
• From Tuesday to Sunday, 9am – 3.30pm
• Thursday to Sunday, 6pm – 10.30pm
For information and bookings, please call (+39) 075 816831
Free wi-fi is available at Bosco di San Francesco.
Disabled visitors can access free-of-charge those FAI properties that are open to the public by showing their ANMIC (Associazione Nazionale Mutilati e Invalidi Civili) card.
Access to the site is challenging for people with mobility problems. Please contact the property for more information.
We recommend that you wear comfortable shoes.
Magic, spirituality and nature: an enchanted woodland setting for your events
At the San Francesco Woodland in Assisi, the peace of nature reigns supreme. The natural environment here is typical of central Italy, with rolling hillsides, olive groves, forests of beech and oak, fields and clearings embellished by a thousand colours. There are also plenty of timid wild animals that will only approach those who know how to engage respectfully with them.
Here you can stage MICE and private events that are totally “green” and a world away from the chaos of the city. “L’Osteria del Mulino” offers catering facilities using local produce of the highest quality.
The large car park near the lower entrance greatly facilitates access.
By choosing a FAI property for your event, you are contributing to the conservation and protection of Italy’s heritage.
We look forward to hearing from you!
What can you do at the San Francesco Woodland?
Wedding receptions, aperitifs and dinners at sunset, concerts and plays, private parties, end-of-term school trips
Corporate away days
Presentations of books, small conferences, team-building activities, private visits
Sets for photo and video shoots in the natural environment
Maintenance of the garden, the woodland and its paths, maintenance of the indoor areas and the furnishings, outdoor art courses and walks that will teach you how to recognise wild herbs
Food and wine: tastings of local wines and food products
Culture: guided tours taking in art, nature and unusual facts
Crafts: workshops and presentations with the local artisanal producers
San Francesco Woodland (“Bosco di San Francesco”)
tel. (+39) 075 813157