LA VERNA, SAINT FRANCIS
(49 Km 1h) The place is known especially for its association with Saint Francis of Assisi (he is said to have received the stigmata here) and for the Sanctuary of La Verna, which grew up in his honour.
The sanctuary of La Verna is the Casentino. The mountain covered with a monumental forest of beech and fir trees, is visible from all over the Casentino and the high Tiber Valley and has a unique shape with its summit (1,283 m) cut peak of three parts. Above the cliff shrouded by forest is the largest complex of the shrine that in his massive and articulated architecture holds many treasures of spirituality, art, culture and history. In the summer of 1224 St. Francis retired on Mount Verna for all the usual periods of silence and prayer. During his stay he asked God to participate with all his being to the Passion of Christ, mystery of love and pain. The Lord listened and appeared as a crucified seraphim leaving gift seals of his passion. Francis became also externally to the image of Christ that already with the heart and life so much resembled. The event of the stigmata and example of life are the most valuable asset that Francesco delivery to the friars of La Verna. The challenging legacy of St. Francis as well as personally involved every friar becomes the main message that the community wishes to convey to all who visit La Verna.