The Greatest Show: Italy's most spectacular nativity scenes

Dec 25, 2020 399

BY: Giulia Bottaro

Faithful to its Catholic traditions, Christmas is very much a religious affair for many people in Italy. Nativity scenes are often considered more important than Christmas trees when it comes to decorating for the festive season. Every year, millions of people recreate the scene of the birth of Jesus as described in the Bible: Mary and Joseph cradling their baby in a manger, warmed up by an ox and a donkey, and visited by shepherds and farmers nearby. 

Many presepe ('crib' in English) lovers build a whole village of figurines, usually including shepherds, bakers and fishermen around a series of elaborate replicas of houses, shops and barns. These displays can be found in homes, local churches and across town squares; but hundreds of villages in Italy also organise a 'living' version of the presepe, where visitors can walk between people enacting the Bible passage. 

Read more


You may be interested