The origins of Assisi are uncertain and sometimes legendary, but it is believed that the first settlement was established in 1800BC by the Umbrians. Then came the Etruscans, after which Assisi assumed importance in Roman times. The town began to build churches and monasteries towards the end of 1100 AD, around the time when St. Francis and St. Clare were born. Around the fourteenth century, the greatest artists of the period flocked to Assisi, from Cimabue to Giotto, to Simone Martini, and Assisi became one of the cultural centres of Italy.