An open-air museum in the heart of Sabina
Voted one of the “most beautiful villages in Italy”, Greccio, in the province of Rieti, offers visitors an artistic and spiritual heritage of rare beauty. Immersed in pristine nature, surrounded by the Sabina mountains, the village lies on the slopes of Monte Lacerone.
From the Hermitage of Greccio Sanctuary erected by Saint Francis, who created the first nativity scene here, you can admire spectacular views of the green Rieti Valley, among oaks and holm oaks. Your visit begins in the atmospheric Nativity Chapel and continues along narrow corridors through the places once inhabited by the saint and the first monks.
To immerse yourself in Greccio’s history and tradition, visit the castle. This 11th-century military structure was originally protected by a wall and six towers. Three remain standing today, the largest of which was converted into a bell tower in the 17th century. Near this tower, you can walk down a long flight of steps to the Church of St Michael Archangel, carved out of part of the castle, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the village’s main square.
But Greccio’s most beautiful museum is the village itself, winding its way through the streets of the historic centre: on the walls of the oldest houses, international artists have created 26 works of art that retrace scenes from the life of Saint Francis and evoke ideals of fellowship, spirituality and love for creation.