Nativity scene (Presepe in Italian) is a representation of Jesus birth, dating back to Middle Ages. Born in Italy, this tradition has progressively spread in all Catholic countries around the world. This artistic representation is set during Christmas time and consists in statues of different materials collocated in a realistic way. According to tradition we can find: the grotto, the manger where is situated Baby Jesus, Joseph and Mary, the Three Wise Men, the shepherds, the sheep, the ox and the little donkey, plus all the minor figures. Italy is famous also for living nativity scenes in which act real persons .
Italy has a long and rooted tradition in nativity scene handicraft and representations, reflecting in real works of art we can cherish all over the peninsula.
Via San Gregorio Armeno the street of Naples well-known around the world for its magnificent nativity scenes. Strolling through Naples you will notice this folkloristic street with numerous artisan small shops dedicated to “presepe” art. This timeless place can be visited all year round, but during Christmas the atmosphere is definitely magic. Here you can buy lovely statues and also the whole nativity, plus the wine and food delicacies of Neapolitan tradition.
Big news of Christmas 2016 is the ice nativity scene of Massa Martana (Perugia), in the central region of Umbria. This stunning work measures 15 sq.m. and can admired in occasion of the national art exhibition “Presepi d’Italia“, from December 24 to January 8. The one of a kind work will present life size ice statues sparkling thanks to plenty of lights. An incredible experience you won’t forget easily.
Let’s move towards South Italy again for the third stage of our tour. This time we will discover the breathtaking living Nativity Scene of Matera, the city of “Sassi” (stones) and also European Capital of Culture 2019. The living present of this southern gem is one of the greatest holy representations in Italy, also because of its set, the charming Sassi, ancient cave dwellings dating back to prehistoric era, that perfectly evoke biblical spirit and scenario. We strongly recommend a tour to discover unique Matera and all its ancient treasures, situated in beautiful Basilicata region.