In 1223 San Francesco chose the village of Greccio, in Lazio Region, to relive the birth of Jesus.
 
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Greccio

A hundred years more
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Village of Greccio
Municipality of Greccio

Province of Rieti
Lazio Region

Population: 1.554
Altitude centre: 388 m s.l.m.

the Municipality is part of:
I Borghi più belli d'Italia
Comunità Montana Montepiano Reatino

Municipality of Greccio
Via Limiti Nord 17 - Greccio (RI)
Tel. +39 0746 750591

Greccio rises on a hill in the western edges of the Rieti Valley, on the border with Umbria in the high part of Lazio and almost 300 metres high compared to the valley floor. Greccio was founded, according to the tradition, by a community or a Greek family, who escaped or was exiled from its country after wars and obliterations, that decided to settle down there after falling in love with the amenities of the place and for the comfort of the natural defenses that it offered. From here came the name Grecia, Grece, Grecce and at last Greccio.

The first information about it dates back to the X-XI century, when the fragmentary properties of the Farfa Abbey were gathered together and the encastellation of manors was completed. From the ruins of the old constructions we can notice that Greccio became a fortified medieval castle surrounded by walls and protected by six fortified towers. The hamlet is encircled by beautiful oak and evergreen oak woods that offer the visitor the opportunity to experience long walks on dark and evocative paths, arriving to the peak of Monte Lacerone at 1.204 mt above the sea level. Here, Saint Francis of Assisi used to withdraw in prayer and meditation in a hut protected by two common hornbeams. In this very place, in 1792, a little commemorative chapel called "la Cappelletta", dedicated to him, was built according to the people's will.

The ancient medieval hamlet, which benefits from an excellent panorama, preserves part of the old castle flooring (around the XI century) and three of the six towers of which the older one was transformed into the Bell Tower in the XVII century. The parish church dedicated to the archangel Michael rises next to the bell tower on the top of a spectacular staircase and dates back to the XIV century.

Greccio is well known for having hosted several times Saint Francis of Assisi who, here, commemorated for the first time the representation of the Nativity scene in 1223. In everlasting memory of this event the Hermitage of Greccio Sanctuary was built, one of the four sanctuaries erected by Saint Francis in the Sacred Valley, along with Fonte Colombo, Foresta and Poggio Bustone sancturaries. 

Video by federico giovannelli

Other destinations nearby

Labro
Labro
The village of Labro is located in Lazio and dominates from another Piediluco Lake.
Rieti - 9.87 KM from Greccio
Arrone
Arrone
at the end of the IX century a Roman nobleman named Arrone settled in Valnerina, in Umbria, and s'impossessò one of rocky promontories that there they raised
Terni - 15.51 KM from Greccio
Narni
Narni
The village of Narni is located in Umbria on the last offshoots of the Mounts Sabini.
Terni - 20.88 KM from Greccio
Corchiano
Corchiano
The village of Corchiano and its natural gorge is located in Lazio.
Viterbo - 33.85 KM from Greccio
Vallo di Nera
Vallo di Nera
The pastors of Vallo di Nera are the ancient and famous, depositaries of the oral tradition of the Valnerina.
Perugia - 35.68 KM from Greccio
Cascia
Cascia
The village of Cascia, where St. Rita was born, is located in Umbria, at the border with the Lazio Region.
Perugia - 37.24 KM from Greccio

NOTE: distances are set as the crow flies.

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