Just outside of Perugia lies Assisi, a small town that's home to one of Umbria's biggest and most colourful religious festivals.
Pilgrims and medieval dress - no, we haven't fallen into a time machine - we're actually talking about Festa di San Francesco. Held in the suburbs of Perugia (about a 20 minute drive from the centre) in the small town of Assisi, this historic celebration brings together religious icons, traditional celebration and festive parades.
As Umbria's largest festival of its kind, the celebration attracts plenty of visitors and locals alike. Many religious leaders travel from across Italy and Europe to mark the occasion and the town's churches put on special services. A highlight is the colourful and atmospheric procession on October 4th, which sees many people parade through the town in elaborate fancy dress. Their final point is Basilica di San Franceso which provides a beautiful backdrop to the day’s events.
If you're keen to keep soaking up the atmosphere, then head to the central street the following day for La Fiera di San Francesco, a huge market and fair. Shop for local goods or watch Umbrian performers as they entertain the crowds with music and dance. Better than a time machine any day.
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