In 1223 Saint Francis of Assisi chose the humble mountain village of Greccio, overlooking the Rieti valley to commemorate the birth of Jesus.
The similarities between the landscape of Greccio and that of Palestine led him to give life to an event that still marks the history of humanity.
The Saint wanted common people, who had not come into contact with Christian teachings, to understand the mystery of Jesus’ birth.
Greccio, rich in poverty, had the privilege of seeing the first re-enactment of the Nativity with the active participation of Giovanni Velita, devoted friend of Saint Francis, and the entire population who followed the announcements of the heralds, sent by Saint Francis to proclaim the event that established Greccio as a reference point for the entire Christian faith.
Since then, Greccio has undoubtedly been a worldwide heritage site of faith and culture. It has safeguarded the birth right of the symbol of mankind's aspiration for fraternity and peace, overcoming all race, religion and language-based differences, those in terms of ideals, culture as well as all physical barriers.
The extraordinary idea that Saint Francis put into practice by re-enacting the Nativity, has provided the Pro-Loco of Greccio the opportunity to continue this tradition.
Since 1972, every year at Christmas, the town of Greccio relives this moment, with the historical re-enactment of the Nativity of Greccio.