In Italy, the tradition of nativity scenes at Christmas time is really strong and almost all Catholic families have one at home. In Tuscany, this tradition is strengthen by the fact that several hamlets put on re-enactments of the Christmas story with real people in flesh and blood! This could seem weird, but people contribute to create a special atmosphere around Christmas and it is so special that even non-Catholics can appreciate the tradition. Nativity re-enactments involve residents, animals and buildings, as well as the streets of the city centre and a place used as the set of the manger. Anyone can bring to life the various characters of the nativity: angels, oxen, shepherds, Wise Men and Baby Jesus family.
The period in which live nativity scenes takes place is between Christmas Eve and the Epiphany and the tradition and dates change from town to town. Here are some of Tuscany’s most famous live nativity scenes!
- Cerreto Guidi (December 23, January 6)
- Castiglion Fiorentino (December 26, January 6)
- Pontassieve (Comunità Parrocchiale di S. Brigida – December 24 and 26, January 6)
- Porto Ercole, Monte Argentario (December 25 and 26, January 6)
- Barga (December 23)
- Ghivizzano, Coreglia (December 15)
- Anchiano, Borgo a Mozzano (December 16)
- Pruno (December 24)
Massa Carrara province
- Equi Terme (December 22, 23, 25, 26)
- Iolo (December 24, 9pm)
- Casole d’Elsa (December 26, 29 and 30)
Do you have other suggestions?
All the links unfortunately are in Italian, but if you need help for the translation, just leave a comment!