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Barb Jul 17th, 2006 11:51 AM

Day trip to Assisi, or spend the night?
I will be in Rome for 9 days in October. (my 6th time) Although I am sure I can find lots of things to do in Rome for those 9 days, I am thinking about doing a day trip to Assisi, or even thinking about spending one night there. Do you think it is too far for a day trip? I know there isn't a direct train from Rome, where do you transfer and is it a no brainer? Also, any suggestions for a very budget hotel (not over 60 euro) that's within walking distance to all the sites. Or should I just stay in Rome and forget about Assisi? (never been there)

nessundorma Jul 17th, 2006 12:00 PM

I suggest that you go to Perugia for at least 3 days and book yourself into the Hotel Rosalba. (It's in your budget.) From there you can easily do a day trip to Assisi but also you can experience Perugia, and perhaps a town like Spello on your return to Roma.

The artwork in Assisi will gain a greater meaning if you see the museum if Umbrian art in Perugia, a really great museum.

nessundorma Jul 17th, 2006 12:01 PM

tcreath Jul 17th, 2006 12:20 PM

I would suggest spending the night. Assisi is wonderful but its full of its fair share of daytrippers. If you spend the night you will have the town almost to yourself after the sun sets. We stayed in an apartment nearby and spent two evenings walking around Assisi before/after dinner and it was our favorite time there.


Barb Jul 17th, 2006 12:45 PM

Nessundorma: Thanks for the suggestion, but I have been to Perugia and Spello and did enjoy both, but I have never been to Assisi.

tcreath: I suspected that might be the case re the daytrippers, so I'll see if I can find a nice, inexpensive (paying for apt. in Rome for that night too) hotel. Any ideas on that? What is the best area to stay in for walking to places? Also would appreciate train info from someone who has made this trip from Rome. Any suggestions of good little casual trattorias?

kismetchimera Jul 17th, 2006 01:36 PM

Barb, is only 2 hours by train from Rome to Assisi. There is a non stop train that leave Termini at 8:14 and arrive at Assisi a little after 10.You will have all day to explore the city.

Coming back you can take the ES( non stop also) at18:24, arrive at termini at 20:18.
Check trenitalia for other schedules.

tracilee Jul 17th, 2006 01:39 PM

I think it would be nice for you to spend a night in Assisi. I stayed at La Fortezza, a few years ago, it definitely fits your budget, the website shows 52Euro for a twin without breakfast. Our room was very basic, but it did have a nice private terrace which we enjoyed.

Assisi is a beautiful little town and we had a great time touring the churches as well as wandering the streets and climing the hill up to the castle. The view of the valley and olive trees was wonderful.

Hope you'll go, have a good trip!

Eloise Jul 17th, 2006 02:00 PM

Here's another possibility at 40 Euro for a single:

It's a few steps down from the main square in Assisi. I've eaten at and enjoyed the trattoria; I don't know the hotel.

tribi Jul 17th, 2006 02:18 PM

My husband and I did a day trip to Assisi, we drove from Rome, what a beautiful place, after walking around and visiting the Basilica of S. Francesco and the Holy Convent, the Basilica of S. Chiara, we went to Maria degli Angeli (5 Km), after, we drovoe to Florence. I think a day trip is more than enough.

Leely Jul 17th, 2006 04:53 PM

Spend the night.

I've stayed at La Pallotta. It's fine for the price, and they'll discount your dinner if you're at the hotel.

sounds like a great trip.

Leely Jul 17th, 2006 04:56 PM

Sorry, Barb. I also meant to say that I was with 3 friends and we had two doubles; they were a fine size, but I didn't see the singles.

lhopp Jul 17th, 2006 05:09 PM

Stay the night. It's very different in the evening-just lovely. We stayed in Hotel Umbra which was perfect. Not to expensive, very nice room and quiet.

Barb Jul 18th, 2006 04:49 PM

Thanks for all your responses. I didn't know there was a nonstop ES from Roma. Thanks kismetchimera for that very helpful information. I think I am going to go and spend the night. La Pallotta looks great and for that price I can't go wrong. Leely, did you eat at the trattoria?

Barb Jul 19th, 2006 09:11 AM

This may be a dumb question, but if I had to pick one overnight to Assisi, what day should it be, i.e, Fri, Sun.? or does it really matter? I'm thinking maybe in terms of things being open. Sorry, I haven't really started to research Assisi much yet.

Eloise Jul 19th, 2006 09:32 AM

Probably not Sunday, because the churches are likely to be closed to sightseeing tourists during services.

CRAZY4TRAVEL Jul 19th, 2006 09:45 AM

Assisi is a lovely place and I would think that it would be even more atmospheric at night when all the day trippers leave. There seem to be many many choices for hotels so I'm sure you'll find something quite easily in your price range. I think it would be a nice break from the city if you stayed overnight and you could relax and enjoy your time there.

Leely Jul 19th, 2006 10:10 AM


Yes, we ate at the trattoria and it was good--not amazing, just good, Umbrian food. This was a winter visit, so I appreciated tyhe soup, the sausage...all the heavy goodies.

I'd probably try to visit on a weekday when there would hopefully be fewer crowds.

La Pallotta, should you book there, is more (or was in 2004) "pensione" in feel than "hotel." I liked it but that kind of thing isn't for everyone.

Enjoy Assisi. It's a great side trip from Rome.

Barb Jul 19th, 2006 11:38 AM

Leely: thanks for the info on the restaurant. I have no problems with staying in a pensione, actually I prefer them. Is it pretty centrally located? I just emailed to see if they have a room for October 13th, gulp Fri. the 13th!

Leely Jul 19th, 2006 05:46 PM

Centrally located? Yes, definitely, right of one of the main piazze. "Old town" Assisi is pretty small, so you don't need to worry about location.

Friday the 13th, huh? Well, probably a good idea to have St. Francis on your side, then. ;)

Dayle Jul 19th, 2006 06:51 PM

Hi Barb,

Yes, since you have had so much time in Rome, do treat yourself to an overnight in Assisi. There is so much to see, I think you might go into church and fresco overload if you try to do it all in a day! Very beautiful town.

I stayed (unexpectedly due to unacceptable hotel in Gubbio) at Hotel Porto Nuova, a 3* just outside the town gates. Breakfast included, free parking (although I know you aren't driving). Very basic rooms, but clean & quiet and a good breakfast. I paid just 50E for a double last Sept.

Since you are going solo once again - I'm sure you will have a LOT more fun than the last - dare I call it a -- vacation?

Buon viaggio!

Barb Jul 20th, 2006 11:32 AM

Ha, Dayle, yes I am savoring the planning of this trip, unlike last year, but my trip report just might be a tad dull in comparison. I have made a reservation at La Pallotta for a double for 40 euro, can't beat that and their email was very friendly and cordial. Looking at train schedules, from Roma,there appears to be an early train at 8:14 which is nonstop, but it is an interregionale and takes a little longer than the ES. Is this a good idea? Coming home the next day there is a ES at 18:24 arriving in Roma at 20:18, and it is nonstop, so I will probably take that one. So do you think I should take that interregionale, or wait & take the 9:36 ES and have to change trains in Foligno. I would only save approx. 20 min. and have the hassle of changing trains.

CRAZY4TRAVEL Jul 20th, 2006 11:47 AM

Hi Barb,

I would recommend if you don't take the ES train that you purchase a first class ticket. The first class train on the IC is like second class on the Eurostar. The trains are a little tatty in comparison to ES but not that bad.

It can be quite crowded in second class on the IC trains. I personally would opt to take IC (I did opt to) so you don't have to change trains.

Neopolitan Jul 20th, 2006 12:01 PM

We stayed a week in Rome in early June and did the day trip to Asisi, going by direct train. We felt it was plenty of time and made a great day trip. We certainly saw all we wanted to see, including the church that's down by the train station -- with the wonderful little "cabin" built inside the church. Sure a night there might be nice, but frankly I wouldn't trade another night in Rome with a really great dinner and strolling the piazzas for a night in Assisi.

Barb Jul 20th, 2006 12:23 PM

Neopolitan: Did you take the direct Interregionale at 8:14? Did you do 1st class as Crazy4 suggested? Or did you take the later 13:46 ES? I won't have any luggage, just an overnight bag, so I don't mind being in second class, plus it's only 2 hrs.

Neopolitan Jul 20th, 2006 12:48 PM

I just looked at my notes. We took the Eurostar from Termini at 7:36. Although I don't remember doing so, I guess we did change at Foligno, and we arrived in Assisi at 9:36. We did first class and it cost 40.34 euro for the two of us one way. The train was almost empty, which was good since the two seats we had reserved which were supposed to be two singles facing with a table between them, actually ended up being on opposite sides of the train.

Coming back we took the 6:24 PM train which was direct and was supposed to arrive at Termini at 8:18 PM. When the train got to Foligno, they announced that there was a problem with the track ahead. We actually, reversed directions and went north, circling Perugia, past the big lake and headed down through Orvieto, etc, not the way we were scheduled. It was slow going as we weren't on the regular schedule there. We arrived at Temini at about 10 PM, instead of 8:18.

Barb Jul 20th, 2006 01:01 PM

thanks for that info. I thought about that earlier train, but hey, I'm on vacation! 8:14 might be a stretch for me...

bjl Jul 20th, 2006 01:26 PM

I was in Assisi in early January 2006. I spent one night there. I would recommend spending the night so that you can experience the village without so many tourists, as has already been said. One of my favorite photos of my trip is a twilight shot looking down to the countryside from a vantage point I just happened upon in the village. A favorite memory was also from late day when I was descending a staircase/sidewalk and heard dixie jazz. Marching down the street at the bottom of the stairs was a "santa band" - 3 guys dressed in Santa suits marching down the street playing dixie jazz.

Stay overnight for those experiences. I stayed at Hotel Berti which is just inside the village wall. Their website ( shows a single rate of 45 - 55 Euro. However I paid for a double with single use. If you read Trip Advisor reviews about the hotel, there is mention of how small a single room experience was there.

If you go to Assisi, seek out Chiesa di Santo Stefano. After the granduer of multiple churches you'll have seen, this little church is very simple. I felt like this was a church for the humble working man. I was the only one in the church (again late day).

One other thing in taking the train. When you come out of the station, you'll need to take a city bus up the hill to Assisi. It lets you off outside of the village walls, at the lot where all the tourists park!

Barb Jul 20th, 2006 02:21 PM

Thanks again for all the great info. I am really looking forward to seeing Assisi now. I think I will map out an itinerary to maximize my time there, including lots of time to sit and enjoy just being there.

chiarachiara Jul 21st, 2006 03:21 AM

Barb, another vote for a night in Assisi! Take direct trains - 2 hours are not that long to spend in a train that might be a little bit more worn than the ES - it is a schlepp to change at Foligno, because you have to go up and down stairs to change binario.

As mentioned by a previous poster, you will get off at Assisi's train station called Santa Maria degli Angeli. When you walk out and do not see the small orange city bus, wait a few minutes - they run very frequently and are dirt cheap compared to the Taxi's. You can buy your ticket at the small Tabacci inside the station building or on the bus!

Enjoy Roma and Assisi!

Barb Jul 21st, 2006 09:42 AM

That's really good to know about the trains and the bus at the train station, thanks! I am definitely going to take the direct train, 2+ hrs. will be just fine -- hopefully I can just relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery in a part of Umbria that I have not seen before.

Leely Jul 21st, 2006 09:44 AM

Barb, you <i>are</i> on holiday. I'm pretty okay with just-okay hotels, but I'd pop for a taxi when arriving at the train station. Just an option; I don't think it was too expensive.

Walk up to Rocca Maggiore for magnificent views. And that very simple church someone mentioned above is fantastic--we just stumbled upon it.

Neopolitan Jul 21st, 2006 09:50 AM

Interesting you say that, Leely. We got off the train and went to the bus stop where a bus came along in about 5 minutes. It was quick, comfortable, and clean. We spoke with a couple there waiting by the bus stop who decided they'd wait for a taxi -- none were in sight. I was told there are very few taxis, you might need to call one, and you might wait a long time for one. I guess I don't get the advantage of paying a lot of money for the privilege of waiting longer to get up to Assisi. Of course if there happens to be one waiting and you don't care about how much it costs, or if you also had a lot of luggage, then. . .

Leely Jul 21st, 2006 09:56 AM

Yeah, there was one right there when we walked out of the station.

dorkforcemom Jul 21st, 2006 09:58 AM

We, too, took a day-trip from Rome to Assisi and thoroughly enjoy ourselves. It was extremely easy - changing trains in Foligno and taking the smallish, clean bus from the station up to the hilltown itself. It was a day of welcome relief from the intensity of Rome (which I adore, by the way). This isn't to say that an overnight trip to Assisi wouldn't be as spectacular - I'm just sharing our experience. It was one of my top trip-memory days!

Barb Jul 21st, 2006 10:52 AM

Thanks all - I'll just have my carryon, so no luggage hassles - what a wonderful thought!! so taking the bus will not be a problem. Any recommendations for good places to eat, small, cozy types. I know I can eat at the hotel, but I'm thinking, cute, local, mom &amp; pop place.

Barb Sep 7th, 2006 12:56 PM

Not to belabor this issue, but because of a change of plans and the shortening of time I can spend in Rome, I am now trying to decide if I should go to Assisi and if I do, I would have to leave Rome on Sat. 10/14 and come back late on 10/15. I wonder if everything will be closed up tight on Sunday. If it is, then I might just opt not to go. I would have Sat. aft. to visit the churches, but are any of the churches, museums, etc., open on Sun. and what about restaurants?

Saraho Sep 7th, 2006 01:48 PM

We are staying in Assisi on Oct 18 and 19 in the convent right by the Basilica. It's very inexpensive.

chiarachiara Sep 7th, 2006 11:49 PM

In Assisi almost everything is open on a Sunday! It will be better to visit the churches on Saturday because some restrict entrance on Sundays while mass is on.

But shops and restaurants are open - except the Alimentaris - I think they are closed.

Barb Sep 8th, 2006 09:40 AM

Well that's good to know that there will be some things open on Sun. I will plan on seeing all the churches on Sat. Hotel Pallotta kindly changed my reservation!! A single with bath/shower and breakfast for 40 euro - not bad.

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