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Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
Lower Plaza

The Lower Piazza of Saint Francis opens up at the end of a narrow street; it is bordered by a theatrical portico which plays with perspective, together with a multi-coloured stone paving. In front of the atrium, at the entrance to the Lower Basilica, is the former Oratorio di San Bernardino, built for the Franciscans by experts from Lombardy around the mid 15th century. Immediately next to it is the entrance to the Sacred Convent; this houses a community of Friars Minor Conventual, the Theological institute, a documentation centre, and an important Franciscan library.