Legend has it that St. Francis chose this steep place for a child who threw a bright hot coal. It ended up on the rock face of a hill owned by a feudal lord of Greccio, Velita, and there was built the current hermitage. The first nativity scene in the world was also created here. The same Velita, in 1223, pushed St Francis to give rise to a re-enactment, with live people, of the birth of Christ on Christmas Eve. Legend has it that the little boy, the only non-living character of re-enactment, came to life before returning to be inanimate. For this reason Greccio is twinned with Bethlehem. The sanctuary is located at the beginning of the path and includes the original chapel of the saint carved in the rock.