The Monastery of La Verna is to be found in the solitude of the Tuscan hills. During one of the sermons preached by St. Francis of Assisi, Count Orlando of Chiusi was one of the listeners, and was so impressed that he decided to give Francis a lonely hill in Tuscany as a gift. A monastery was built shortly afterwards on a rock above the town, in the middle of pine and beech woods. St. Francis of Assisi often returned here to pray in the peace of the woods. It was here, on 14th September 1224, that St. Francis received the stigmata. La Verna is an essential pilgrim’s destination for all Franciscan monks and followers of St. Francis. Men can still spend the night in the monastery buildings, while women can stay in the convent in the town.