The living nativity scene of Greccio

The “first nativity scene in the world” can be traced back to 1223, when Saint Francis retreated in prayer to a hermitage on Mount Lacerone, where today we can find a chapel built in his memory. We are in Greccio, less than 2 hours from Rome and 1 hour from Rieti.

The saint, legend has it, already dwelt on the peak of Mount Lacerone by 1217, and often went down to preach to the townsfolk. On the night of the 24th of December, along with friars and local people, he came up with the idea of representing the miracle of the Birth of Jesus with a living nativity play.

In 1972, the Pro Loco Cultural association of Greccio put on the first re-enactment of the historical event. The dialogues were taken from writings by Tommaso da Celano, biographer of St Francis of Assisi, St Bonaventure and Monsignor Terzi.

The medieval costumes for nobles, heralds and the common people were borrowed from the Rome Opera House and worn by the local young people.

The play is divided into six “living tableaux”. An excellent script, clever lighting, the dedication of the players combined with the natural beauty of the setting make this a unique and unforgettable experience.

For further information:Pro Loco di Greccio

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Religious Tourism