Tradition, creativity, pop culture: the strange world of Neapolitan presepi’s statuettes

Dec 25, 2021 312

BY: Francesca Bezzone

AH!Il Presepe! Quintessential tradition of the Italian Christmas, it brings together Faith, history, tradition, and art. The first was created by Saint Francis of Assisi, our Patron Saint, to represent the birth of Christ and offer another way to worship Him at Christmastime. Soon, the presepe became a common feat in Italian homes, first among the aristocracy, and later also among other social classes.

That’s when beautiful statuettes began being created, some of them richly dressed and decorated, in all styles and sizes. Naples, of course, became the capital of presepe-making, and still is today, even though we shouldn’t discount other important artistic traditions, such as that of Trentino Alto-Adige, where nativities are usually made of carved wood.

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