Journey through the Nativity scenes in Italy

Dec 21, 2018 380

BY: Paolo Melissi

That of the nativity scene is a tradition strongly rooted in the culture and society of Italy. It is considered to date back to year 1223, when San Francesco is credited to have created in the village of Greccio the “presepe” by reconstructing the nativity scene with living animals and real people.

The first known nativity, with reconstruction of the setting and statuettes, instead, dates back to 1238, and was commissioned by Pope Onofrio IV remaining initially confined to churches and parishes, but soon becoming customary even in private homes. Over the centuries, it then took on further importance, acquiring a strongly symbolic and artistic dimension at the same time. 

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