A Rose Without Thorns in Assisi…


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Porziuncola Assisi

The Porziuncola church in Assisi by Templar1307 on Flickr

May is undoubtedly one of the best months to visit Italy. Many people choose to come to Italy during this month largely due to the weather, which is pleasant and mild; not at all uncomfortably hot like the summer months can be. A lot of people also come to enjoy the abundance of roses, as May is known as the month of the roses. So come and enjoy the wonderful sights, sounds and colours of this wonderful month, by paying a visit to a very special rose garden

Located in the Italian region of Umbria is the charming town of Assisi; famous of course for its association with Saint Francis of Assisi. This town is home to windy little streets, ancient buildings and of course, the Santa Maria degli Angeli, which is one of the largest Christian sanctuaries in the world. Part of this sanctuary is the original stone chapel, called the Porziuncola, which is where St. Francis lived and worked after founding the Franciscan Order. It is also where he had his vision in 1216, during which he witnessed the Virgin Mary. Following this vision, the church was visited by a great many pilgrims, and thus the great Baroque church was also built.

Outside the basilica is the Roselo, or Rose Garden. Here, you will find a very special type of rose: one without any thorns! Legend has it that in this location, Saint Francis himself rolled naked amongst the thorn bushes, in order to combat doubt and temptation. It is then said that on contact with the Saint’s body, thorn-less roses began to bloom, and they still do to this day! These special flowers can only be found in this particular rose garden, and are named Rosa Canina Assisiensis. On the wall of the courtyard you can see a mural of St. Francis, surrounded by the modest Porziuncola chapel, olive groves and of course, thorn-less red roses.

Seeing this beautiful, spiritual town is an absolute must when visiting Italy, so why not take the hassle out of organising your trip and participate in one of our Assisi tours from Florence? Explore the treasures of Umbria with a Perugia, Assisi and Lake Trasimeno guided tour, and experience not only these wonderful towns, but also the stunning surrounding countryside. Spend time visiting the Porziuncola in Assisi and of course, take a leisurely stroll through the Saint Francis of Assisi Rose Garden, and see for yourself that these special roses really are completely thorn-less. We wouldn’t recommend rolling around in them though…

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