Nativity Scenes around Maremma Tuscany

Traditionally, the focus of Christmas decorations in Italy is the Nativity scene (presepe in Italian). You can find them in churches, city squares, shops, and in most homes.

The Nativity Scenes are usually set up on December 8, the Day of the Immaculate Conception, and stay on display until January 6, the Epiphany Day. Although the presepe is usually set up before Christmas, baby Jesus is added on Christmas Eve.

The Nativity scene is said to have originated with St. Francis of Assisi in 1223 when he constructed a nativity scene in a cave in the town of Greccio (Lazio region) and held Christmas Eve mass and a nativity procession there.

Where can you see the Christmas Cribs and Nativity Scenes around Maremma? Here are some of the loveliest displays in southern Tuscany!

Porto Santo Stefano

Underwater Nativity Scene, image from acquarioargentario.org
Underwater Nativity Scene, image from acquarioargentario.org

The Underwater Nativity Scene is set in one of the tubs in the Argentario Mediterranean Aquarium.

The sea village of Porto Santo Stefano also celebrates the Holiday Season with a Living Nativity Scene in the historic center, next to the Spanish Fortress.

Porto Ercole

Relive Bethlehem in the historic center of Porto Ercole, where locals reenact the Nativity Scene in December and early January.

portoercole-nativityscene
Living Nativity Scene, image from portoercole.org

Pitigliano

This village built on tufa rock hosts a Living Nativity Scene in Piazza S. Gregorio VII.

Scansano & Sorano

In these two villages, you can enjoy an exhibition of different artistic nativity scenes crafted by artisans.

Montorsaio (Campagnatico)

The small village of Montorsaio is also known as the ‘the town of nativity scenes’. In fact, its historic center hosts many presepi, including a very particular one in the main square, where the statues are handmade in terracotta and feature the faces of the local inhabitants.

Terracotta statues in Montorsaio Nativity Scene
Terracotta statues, image from culturale.braccagni.net

Caldana

In the Church of S. Antonio you can admire a beautiful, monumental nativity scene.

Photo credit: Header image from industriadelturismo.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s