Assisi is known as the home of St Francis, the 13th Century monk and the Basilica of St Francis is one of the key attractions of this amazing town, almost untouched by time.
Arriving early and off season in March has its advantages and it in less than two minutes, I was inside the Basilica complex. The complex was built in the early part of the 13th Century and is something out of a dreamscape.
The basilica consists of a lower church and an upper church. I entered the Lower church and set about trying to locate and photograph a painting referenced in my book ” The Devils Prayer” with no success. I then ventured to the Upper church and took one photograph of the Upper Nave of the Basilica shown below before I was told that photography within the church was prohibited.
I had travelled across the globe from Australia to Assisi to capture a photo of the painting by Giotto di Bondone, and now I realised I would probably not be able to get it. I finally found the painting and it was located right near the entrance to the Upper Cathedral. I stepped outside the church, knelt down and looked up at the ceiling from just outside the church. I changed my lens to a 70 -200 mm zoom and then took the photo I had come so far to get with the 200mm zoom.
The painting by Giotto shows St Jerome who is believed to be responsible for the selection of the Books in the New Testament wearing the robes of a Cardinal, a position that did not exist at the time reading a bible written in Mongol script. Sadly the painting was damaged during the earthquake of 1997.
In Search of ‘The Devil’s Prayer’
In 2016, I visited Assisi from Rome whilst conducting research for my book, The Devil’s Prayer.
The purpose of my trip was to visit the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi and to photograph the painting by Giotto which features in The Devil’s Prayer. The painting depicts St Jerome reading a Bible in Mongol script. The Devil’s Prayer is available world-wide on amazon, ibooks, google play and kobo.
Assisi is easily accessible from Rom Termini by train. My recommendation would be to take the early morning train which leaves around 7 am to avoid the crowds. The train travels through numerous picturesque towns and arrives in Assisi some two hours later. From Assisi station it is a short bus trip to the Basilica of St Francis which was the main reason I travelled to Assisi.