HomeTravelHolidaymakers say pretty Italian town with no tourists is a 'divine experience'

Holidaymakers say pretty Italian town with no tourists is a ‘divine experience’


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New research by John Lewis Finance revealed the top 10 European cities with the highest number of free attractions.

The findings unveiled the beautiful town of Assisi, in Italy, as the top city for free attractions in Europe. The Italian destination was closely followed by Dubrovnik, in Croatia, and Chania, in Greece. 

The travel experts explained that Assisi, “known as one of the best-preserved mediaeval towns in the world, is an ideal break destination, blending age-old traditions and lively celebrations”. 

The town has also been described as a “hidden gem,” and is a place Italians love to visit for a relaxing holiday. According to the research, top-rated free attractions include the Historic Centre, home to the captivating Basilica of St Francis, built in 1228. 

The travel gurus explained that over Easter, the town comes alive with distinctive Easter rituals, such as the centuries old Scavigliazione (also known as the “Deposition from the Cross”) and the moving Brotherhoods Procession on Good Friday evening, in which torches illuminate the city as the procession winds its way through the streets, adding a touch of magic to this historic town. 

Assisi is located in the Umbria region, in central Italy, and is famous for being the birthplace of St Francis, the founder of the Franciscan order.

On Tripadvisor, a visitor described the town as an “amazing space” and a “divine experience”. One traveller explained: “Assisi is a place that once you go, you visit you want to visit again. A place where one admires the natural beauty and a place of faith.”

An Italian visitor said: “We live in Umbria and we’ve been to Assisi a bunch of times. We’ve often passed by the impressive basilica and I’ve always liked it. In the evenings the cupola is lighted beautifully. You can see it even from far away (highway, etc).

“This time we had time to actually stop and enter this church. We discovered that there is a small tiny church from the 9th century right in the middle of it. So unusual and so special. It’s called Porziuncola and it’s magnificent.”

Top 10 European cities for free attraction:

  1. Assisi, Italy   
  2. Dubrovnik, Croatia   
  3. Chania, Greece   
  4. Florence, Italy   
  5. Venice, Italy   
  6. Rhodes, Greece   
  7. Bruges, Belgium   
  8. Porto, Portugal   
  9. Reykjavik, Iceland   
  10. Lisbon, Portugal   

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