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Calendimaggio in Assisi May 5-May 8 What to do?

So I am reworking our canceled May trip to Lake Como, Verona, Venice and Assisi for May 2021. I know it is hardly clear at this point whether it will happen but if we have to postpone another year, we will. Because my son has started graduate school, we have to go earlier in 2021 (and 2022 if that is what happens) than we had originally planned and that has created a few challenges.

We will fly into Milan. I had decided to go to Verona first and Lake Como last (after checking actual temperatures for last five years-thank you acraven) and was debating order to visit Venice and Assisi (which would involve renting car in Perugia to be able to see Umbria). I was planning to spend three nights in Venice and four in Assisi so either MondAY May 3 through Friday May 7 in Assisi or Thursday May 6 through Monday May 10 in Assisi. Turns out these dates both overlap with Calendimaggio.

I wouldn't mind seeing some of it, although have no idea what but am concerned about crowds--both in terms of finding place to stay and crowds in Assisi.

I am looking for input whether best thing to do would be
1) go to Assisi May 3-May 7;

2) go to Assisi May 6-May 10;
3) avoid staying in Assisi and stay in Spello instead during one of these times;
4) go to Assisi before Verona so leave before it starts. We originally were going to go to Assisi first from Milan but turns out has a couple disadvantages, If you want fast train, have to buy in advance with big cushion or pay a lot on the day of. I also won't drive after flying so would need to return to Perugia to rent cars.. For these reasons, we had decided to not start in Assisi on the Italy trip redo. But that is before I realized the Calendimaggio will take place in Assisi the first week of May.

Any insights or advice? We can't adjust the dates of our trip because of my son's schedule.

Beth

Posted by
5727 posts

We spent two wonderful weeks in Spello and highly recommend that you stay there. You can see Assisi from there. We visited Assisi twice during our stay, very easy to do. We also visited nearby Montefalco, Bevagna, Perugia, Norcia and more.
Assisi is beautiful but I was glad we were staying in the more typical Umbrian town of Spello. I can’t stand crowds and would avoid the dates of Calendimaggio. One time we visited Assisi the day before the saint’s day of St. Francis and regretted visiting at that time.
We had a rental car that we picked up at Rome FCO.

Posted by
1097 posts

Suki,

I think you are right that if we go during Calendimaggio we ought to stay in Spello. I have a place picked out that we were going to stay in this past May in Assisi but it is in the center of town which makes no sense during a festival that runs late into the night.

The other option I think is to rearrange our schedule to avoid the festival.

Thanks for your input.

Beth

Posted by
1737 posts

I disagree about not staying in Assisi during Calendimaggio. That is IF you want to see the events. I planned a hiking trip that would allow us 2 nights in town so we could walk to the main piazza and watch everything going on. It's so vibrant and exciting in Assisi during this festival, the costumes, the pageantry, the drumming and all the contest.

I can't imagine the traffic and parking trying to get into town during the weekend events. Being in a hotel in town afforded us easy walking to the grand stands and around town as the locals were all in costume and it was beautiful. I have amazing photos from those 2 days.

Our hotel was off the main plaza, and we hear NOTHING during the night to disrupt our sleep.
IMHO.

Posted by
1097 posts

We decided to stay in Assisi but go there first-before the festival. I understand there are things going on before the festival so maybe we will have a chance to experience some aspects of it. We just weren’t keen on the crowds but the consensus of our group was they preferred to be in Assisi. So I reworked the order of our trip to accommodate it.

Now if we could actually take this trip next May...