The Italian Christmas tradition of Artisan Nativities

One of the things I enjoy most when I am in Italy during Christmas time is visiting the nativities.

Some villages organize live nativities which are suggestive costume reenactments; at seaside resorts you will find sand nativities and also there are many others made by local artists who spend months creating them; some have music, lights, special effects like day and night, running water, thunder and moving statuettes. They really are works of art.

Every year I visit a place in my home town where you can visit several different nativities all made by local people who have a passion for it. Everything is carefully made enterely by hand and every year the display is different.

The Nativity at Christmas time

These are typical Northern Italian farm houses, I can only imagine how much work it has gone into creating one of these…brick by brick.

The courtyard

Farmhouse from Friuli

This is a nativity made out of buttons and fabric.

A nativity made out of buttons and yarn

This is with jute fabric.

Jute fabric nativity


The garden Nativity

Look at the details outside and inside the houses too. These are typical houses from the mountains of Friuli.

Farmhouse from Friuli handmade

Mountain house from Friuli

Mountain house from Friuli

This mosaic is made with different types of corn

Nativity mosaic made out of corn

Nativity scene

Nativity scene

These are trulli or dry stone huts with a conical roof typical of Puglia.

Trulli from Puglia

And this could not be more Italian: a nativity made out of different types of pasta!

Nativity made out of pasta

This one is made out of hay.

Nativity made out of hay

And finally! This is my Nativity I made at home this year. All the statuettes are from my childhood. Every time I look at it I get all those Christmas childhood memories coming back. I simply love it and I cannot help feeling a bit of nostalgia.

My Christmas Nativity

I wish you all a Buon Natale – Happy Christmas!

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5 Responses to The Italian Christmas tradition of Artisan Nativities

  1. Chiara

    un presepe più bello dell’altro !Felice Natale a te e alla tua famiglia Alida, un abbraccio

  2. elisabetta

    What a delightful post; every single nativity you have shown has its own beauty and workmanship. I also love popping into our local churches etc to see beautifully created nativity scenes, complete with bubbling water and movable characters. I have a modern version now but regret having given away my childhood one. Love yours too. Buon Natale Alida 🙂 xx

    • Alida

      I love making the Nativity more than making a Christmas tree. I find it so suggestive.
      I wish you and your family a buon Natale e felice anno nuovo! Bacioni.

  3. La cucina di Molly

    Che belli i presepi, anch’io li adoro, non può mancare a casa mia, ogni anno aggiungo una statuetta nuova! Buon Natale a te e famiglia, un bacione!

  4. 2pots2cook

    I wish you and your family to have a Very Merry Christmas dear Alida !

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