Each country, and family, celebrates Christmas differently and for some, the days before the 25th are even more magical thanks to the Advent Calendar, Advent Wreath and Nativity Scene… Italians have a strong presepe (nativity) culture and travelling across the boot-shaped country to see some of the best representations is an eye-opening experience to have. From North to South, travel across Italy to see some of the best.
Showing the perfect balance between nature and urban setting, Matera’s stones recreate one of the most picturesque living presepio in Italy. With more than 300 people participating, from enthusiasts to professional actors, seeing the Nativity reproduction, from Dec. 7 to Jan. 6th, is a good reason to travel to the rocky outcrop town in Southern Italy.
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From cave to sand, Nativity in Italy comes in all different shapes and form. This year, in occasion of the 15th edition of the Jesolo Sand Nativity, the massive sculpture brings light to what Lampedusa represents today: a door to Europe. From Dec. 8 until Feb. 12th. Piazza Marconi will turn into center stage as the Nazareth family appears inside of a boat, attempting to reach the shore, like a family of emigrants.
Variety is the keyword that characterizes the 300+ nativity scenes from around the world showcased in the small town of Bronte, close to Catania. From November 25th to January 6th, in Via Cardinale De Luca 49, visitors are fascinated by chocolate, cotton or paper-mache nativity figurines, which make a great addition to their collection.
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Via San Gregorio Armeno is well known for its unique artisanal workshops specialising in Nativity figurines. Open throughout the year, artists showcase more than Giuseppe and Maria; here you will find statues like “popolana” or “pescatore” made by famous artisans like Ferrigno that with the statue’s facial expressions and fine clothings will impress even the pickiest of the collectors.
The home of FIAT couldn’t showcase a better presepio. Starting Nov. 17 until Jan. 16, visitors are invited to enter the majestic and centrally located Church of Santissima Annunziata. A mechanical presepe will charm everyone with its 200+ wood figurines, created specifically by South Tyrol artisans. Hundreds of them are animated by an old naval engine that creates mechanical movements, water running in fountains and lakes, as well as LED lightings switch from day to night.
For more ideas on Do, Dine and Spend across Italy, visit our Destinations page.