The Holy Valley is a unique environmental, cultural and religious center. Surrounded by the peaks of the Apennines and enclosed by green hills, this fertile land rich in water also contains the most ancient and authentic heritage of the experience of St. Francis.
Probably it was here in Rieti that the saint composed the tender hymn that is the Canticle of the Creatures. Again, in 1223, here he carried out two fundamental experiences of his life and spirituality: he wrote the definitive Rule of the Order of the Franciscans and arranged the first crib of the history of Christianity.
From here comes the Valle del Primo Presepe (The Valley of the First Nativity Scene) project: a set of initiatives aimed at recovering the origins and the original meaning of the intuition of the so called “Poverello” that take place between Greccio, one of the “most beautiful villages in Italy”, and Rieti.
Along with the nativity scenes, this path allows you to rediscover treasures of spirituality, art and architecture. From the Palazzo Papale (Papal Palace) of Rieti, until the adjacent Cathedral and the wonderful churches of the mendicant orders, evidence of a city that preserves all the signs of a long and full history, from the pre-Roman origins until the fascinating Renaissance and nineteenth-century buildings, passing through the medieval period. The point of convergence of the project is where it all began, in that cave now included in the Franciscan sanctuary of Greccio, embellished by the fresco that tells how everything happened, perhaps made by the Master of Narni between the end of the fourteenth and the early fifteenth century.
Visit the enchanting crib exhibition and take part to all the events and activities of the wide program that is renewed and increased every year and that reaches its maximum level during Christmas holidays, from the last Saturday of November (or the first of December) to the 6 January.