The Hermitage Sanctuary of Greccio, in Lazio, is one of the four shrines erected by Saint Francis in the Holy Valley, together with the shrine of Fonte Colombo, to the sanctuary of the forest and the sanctuary of Poggio Bustone.
Entries on how San Francisco has chosen this place steep chasing but the most suggestive is surely that of the child to which the poverello of Assisi did launch a firebrand which flew like lightning, ended its travel on the rocky wall of a mound of property the feudatory of Greccio, this Giovanni Velita. There was built the current hermitage. The same Velita in 1223 spurred St Francis to give life to a splendid evocation, with living characters, of the birth of Christ on Christmas night. The legend tells that the Infant Jesus, single character not living evocation, taken life to then return inanimate. Since then Greccio and its sanctuary are the country of first nativity scene in the world. Afterwards was twinned with Bethlehem.
The Shrine is located at the beginning of the path for the complex. Has a Latin cross plan, characterized by a lateral side and a hexagonal apse. On the side are single lancet windows in the Gothic style, while the bell tower è sailing. Inside there are frescoes of modern and original chapel of the Holy dug into the rock.
Church of San Francesco
The Church finds herself more forward after crossing the square. This is a building that joins the refectory of the monks, lying above the rock. The church has a Latin cross plan with a bell tower. Under the medieval church there's the crypt of San Francesco with a lunette showing the staging of the crib. The painting dates back to the thirteenth century.