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Speciality Shops and Artisan Boutiques in Assisi
The hill town of Assisi, known for the Basilica of Saint Francis, is one of the top places to go in Umbria. Rebecca Winke, proprietor of Brigolante Guest Apartments near Assisi, gives us an inside look at where to shop in Assisi.
Assisi is, unfortunately, a bit overrun with chaotic souvenir shops. Hawking religious knick knacks of dubious quality and taste, these stores are clustered around the hill town’s main streets and churches, so at first glance, it’s easy to miss the town’s numerous unique specialty shops and artisan boutiques. Here visitors can find one-of-a-kind keepsakes, worthy of the memory of their visit to this unique and beautiful Umbrian town.
Artestampa, Via S Francesco, 10c
At Artestampa you can choose from a variety of handmade woodcut prints depicting Assisi’s iconic churches and pretty alleyways, as a more charming alternative to the mass-printed posters sold elsewhere.
Galleria d’Arte San Francesco, Via Fortini 10a/b
Though this antique shop specializes in large pieces of furniture and artworks, they also carry a few small items--including antique prints and majolica tiles—which are fabulous. The proprietor, Claudio, is affable and knowledgeable, and the space full of beautiful, unique pieces.
Minigallery, Via Portica 26
Minigallery has a unique selection of local contemporary art, for those looking for something beautiful yet offbeat. Stop in the gallery to have a look and a chat with Stefano, the friendly curator.
Fashion and Accessories:
Studio Assisi, Via Fortini 7
A tiny boutique crammed with scarves, purses, hats, jewelry, and some home accessories, most in bright hues and eye-catching prints.
Il Tapiro, Via San Francesco
Mauro’s leather workshop offers hand-sewn shoes and belts, purses and wallets, and a few jackets. Though Florence is the best city to purchase leather, this shop’s price and quality make it a close second.
Food and Wine Shops:
Bibenda, Via San Gabriele dell’Addolorata 9
Tucked into a tiny alley off Assisi’s Piazza delle Erbe, this chic but cozy wine bar is a perfect place to stop for a tasting of Umbrian and Italian wines (accompanied by local charcuterie and cheeses) and then stock up on your favorite bottles to carry home (or have shipped). Nila, the owner and sommelier, is both welcoming and more than willing to guide you in making your selections.
Terra Umbra Antica, Via Patrono d’Italia 10/a
This gourmet shop is in Santa Maria degli Angeli (in the valley directly below the historic center of Assisi), but it is worth the pilgrimage if you are passionate about food and wine. Incredibly well-stocked with olive oil, truffles, cheeses and charcuterie, honey and preserves, and just about anything else Umbria has to offer, Barbara, the proprietor, can also arrange to ship your purchases home.Continue to 2 of 2 below.
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Assisi Shops for Jewelry, Kids, Paper, and Books
Il Lavandeto di Assisi, Corso Mazzini 16
The aroma of this pretty boutique specializing in all things lavender spills out onto the street. From essential oils to sachets (some embroidered with the traditional Punta Assisi cross-stitching) to dried compositions, the perfume of this family’s lavender farm outside Assisi will follow you home.
Poiesis, Corso Mazzini 14/d
Assisi is surrounded by olive groves, and the smooth, marbled wood of these trees is used in the hand-made kitchen and home accessories sold in this tiny shop. Their tiny, olive-wood Taus make a wonderful (and easily packable) gift.
Kéramos, Piazza del Comune 19
This high-end store features Umbrian textiles and ceramics, both with traditional and contemporary designs. Regardless of whether you are intent on buying, it’s worth a stop to take a look at the Roman walls and Medieval vaults inside.
Assisi is home to two talented jewelry designers: Artigianato del Gioiello in Piazza San Pietro and Il Forziere on Via San Gabrielle dell’Addolorata . They both work with gold and silver and often incorporate precious and semi-precious stones. For a uniquely “Assisan” memento, consider purchasing a gold tau pendant—Saint Francis’ much-loved symbol of redemption.
Alice Laboratorio Artistico, Via San Francesco 8
Alice hand-paints delightful children’s t-shirts with whimsical flowers, animals, and scenes of Assisi. With a day’s notice, she can personalize the back of each shirt with the child’s name. Alice has sells her whimsical shirts in adult-sizes, along with original paintings, prints, photo albums, and jewelry.
Franchi, Via Portica 15A
This toy shop is stuffed with timeless wooden toys and kid’s home decor, including a huge range of Pinocchios, classic rocking horses, colorful mobiles, and animated clocks.
Paper and Books:
Zubboli, Piazza del Comune
Zubboli is a historic shop where the hand-bound leather photo albums and journals, Florentine-style paper and stationary, fountain pens, and rare books about Assisi and Umbria are displayed in beautiful antique wooden and glass cases.