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Bosco di San Francesco, Assisi © FAI

Bosco di San Francesco

The other half of Assisi

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Bosco di San Francesco eng
Overview

An intact piece of the Umbrian countryside, a place of harmony and silence at the foot of the great Basilica of St Francis of Assisi; a walk through this landscape becomes an inner journey – one that inspired Michelangelo Pistoletto to create a stunning work of land art

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 .

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Visitor information
Opening hours

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


How to get there

By car

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.

Parking

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

Tickets
  • To support the Woodland, we ask for a contribution of €5. You may have to purchase an entry ticket for special events.
Guided Tours

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: faiboscoassisi@fondoambiente.it

Shopping

Purchases from the bookshop make a tangible contribution to supporting the work of FAI

Picnic Area

There is a fully equipped picnic area, with the option to reserve tables.

Restaurant

Osteria del Mulino

• From Tuesday to Sunday, 9am – 3.30pm

• Thursday to Sunday, 6pm – 10.30pm

Closed Mondays.

For information and bookings, please call (+39) 075 816831

Wi-fi

Free wi-fi is available at Bosco di San Francesco.

Accessibility

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.

Useful advice

We recommend that you wear comfortable shoes.

Venue hire and events

Choose the Woodland for your events

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?

Private events
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

Photo/video shoots
Sets for photo and video shoots in the natural environment

Volunteering projects
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

Special events
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

For information

San Francesco Woodland (“Bosco di San Francesco”)
tel. (+39) 075 813157
faiboscoassisi@fondoambiente.it

Choose the best space for your event

Chiesa di Santa Croce

Lunches / dinners: 40 people
Dimensions: 50 m2

PRESENTATION ROOM

Conferences: 25 people
Dimensions: 38 m2

BENEDICTE GARDEN

Concerts and shows: 100 people
aAperitifs and dinners: 150 people
Dimensions: 450 m2

Meadow

Concerts and shows: 500 people
Picnics and parties: 200 people
Dimensions: 600 m2

Picnic area

Seats: 100
Dimensions: 400 m2.

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