We have made it to the end of another year, or rather the beginning of a new one. Welcome to 2018! the last year has gone by in a flash, and the last couple of weeks even more so. The holidays always seem to be a mad rush. We have actually taken our winter break pretty easy this year, trying not to eat too much and taking daily walks. The company Mauro works for shuts down for 10 days so he is always home for the holidays. Time spent with my favorite boys, one of the things that I enjoy most about the holidays here, is visiting presepe...nativity scenes.
St. Francis of Assisi is the person credited for having created the first nativity scene in 1223 so it’s roots in Italy run deep. There are living nativities, performed by locals in town and cities all over Italy, and others made up of figurines. I will have to cover the living nativities another time. The figurines in some of the historic nativities here can be hundreds of years old. They can be mechanical, with moving parts or just figurines, and are truly works of art!
On one of our afternoon walks last week led us to our towns deconsecrated church where a collection of nativity scenes, done by our catechism groups, schools (religion is an optional class, 2 hours each week) and individuals are displayed. It’s the first year where our community has put something like this together and I was really surprised by the variety and creativity of the different nativities so I thought I would share a few of my favorites.
If you ever decide to visit Italy in the winter, whether you are visiting small towns or big cities, make sure you add presepe to your list of things to do. They are usually open between December 24th and January 6th (The Epiphany) when the Befana (The Christmas Witch) comes and takes the feste away.
Buon Anno Nuovo! Happy New Year!