PORTFOLIOS > THE ITALIAN PRESEPE - Cultural Landscapes of the Soul

St. Francis is believed to have slept in the cell carved into the rock below the monastery.
Dormitorio 1223
Greccio, Italy

In 1223 St. Francis performed a legendary Christmas Eve mass with dramatic props that included a live ox, ass and a straw-filled manger. Italians believe this event was the first Presepe. The monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is built above the cave where St Francis is said to have slept.