Piazza Inferiore di San Francesco

Square in Assisi

Basilica Di San Francesco D’Assisi
CC BY-SA 4.0 / GattoCeliaco

The lower square of San Francesco in Assisi is situated next to the Basilica of San Francesco. From this square, visitors can access the lower Basilica, the Sacred Convent, and the oratory of San Bernardino da Siena.

History of Piazza Inferiore di San Francesco

The square likely began to take shape alongside the construction of the basilica, with its design first documented in the 14th century. The goal was to organize the influx of merchants, as directed by Pope Gregory XI, by creating structures for commercial activities. The current porticoes, dating back to 1474, were used to refresh pilgrims and house small businesses. Partially rebuilt in the 16th century, they suffered damage during the 1997 earthquake.

Fra Ludovico da Pietralunga provided a vivid description of the square in the 16th century, noting it was “longer than wide,” surrounded by porticoes with 75 shops serving merchants, especially during the festivals on August 2 (the Pardon of Assisi) and October 4 (the feast of Saint Francis). The square served a social function, accommodating crowds before and after visiting the basilica.

Description of Piazza Inferiore di San Francesco

The square is enclosed, bordered on the north by a steep staircase and a gentler paved descent leading to the upper square, both established in 1731. It is surrounded on the other sides by porticoes, with access points on the east side via Frate Elia and, slightly above, via Domenico Stella. The layout of the square resembles a medieval cloister, adapted to a Renaissance-style square.

The Piazza Inferiore di San Francesco appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Assisi!

This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission at no additional cost to you!

Visiting Piazza Inferiore di San Francesco

Address: Piazza inferiore di San Francesco, Assisi, Province of Perugia, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

Nearby Attractions