GRECCIO

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Greccio is an old hilltown and comune of the province of Rieti in the Italian region of Lazio, overhanging the Velino river on a spur of the Monti Sabini, a sub-range of the Apennines, about 16 kilometres (10 miles) by road northwest of Rieti, the nearest large town.

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Greccio was founded, according to tradition, as a Greek colony.

The earliest records date back to the Tenth and Eleventh centuries. The Benedictine Monk, Gregory of Catino (1062-1133) refers to the town of Greccio (curte de Greccia) in his work “Summary Farfense”. From the remains of the ancient buildings it shows that Greccio became a fortified medieval castle surrounded by walls and protected by six towers fortress.

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Greccio was the place where, in December 1223, St. Francis devised the first living crib. The tradition continues there to this day, and a memorial of St. Francis, the Santuario di S. Francesco, may be visited.

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