Assisi (from the Latin: Asisium) is a town and commune in the province of Perugia, in the Umbria region of Italy. Assisi is situated on the western flank of Monte Subasio.
Assisi is a popular destination amongst pilgrims, as the city is linked in legend with its native son, St Francis who founded the Franciscan religious order in Assisi in 1208, and who shares honors with St Catherine of Siena as the patron saint of Italy and St Clare (Chiara d'Offreducci), the founder of the Poor Clares. St Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows of the 19th century. St Francis is remembered by many, even non-Christians, as a lover of nature. His preaching to an audience of birds being one of the legends of his life.
UNESCO collectively designated the Franciscan structures of Assisi as a World Heritage Site in 2000.
Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, and Assisi, home of St Francis, are both universally acclaimed symbols of spirituality. The cities were twinned in order to enhance mutual cooperation in the common goal of spreading peace and love throughout the world. Mutual cooperation has included many reciprocal visits by delegations from both municipalities, and generous contributions provided by Assisi to Bethlehem, including 20 million Lira to Bethlehem University in 2001 and 10 million Lira to Bethlehem Municipality in 2000. In addition, Assisi hosted the Meeting of Mayors of the Cities United with Bethlehem in April 2002, where representatives from other twinned cities including Civitavecchia, Greccio, Montevarchi, Orvieto and Pratovecchio attended.
In December 2016, the mayor of Bethlehem, Ms. Vera Baboun, participated in the tree lightening in Assisi. She also visited the town of Norcia after the horrific earthquake it had witnessed, as a sign of compassion for those affected by the earthquake.
The visit to Italy also included the renewal of the Twinning Agreement between the cities of Bethlehem and Assisi, which aimed mainly at promoting cooperation in the area of spreading peace and love throughout the world. Moreover, the mayor of Assisi expressed her continuous city's support for Bethlehem and Palestine.
On December 24th, 2016 the mayor of Assisi, Ms. Stefania Proietti, visited Bethlehem during Christmas celebrations and participated in the midnight mass.