Il Presepe: A Neapolitan Tradition

One of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen was the presepe, or nativity, that was still on display at La Vinicola Risorante in Pompeii. The traditional Neapolitan/Campanian nativity scene contains not just the usual creche with Joseph, Mary, Baby Jesus, the three kings, and so on, but also includes scenes of daily life. The one in La Vinicola was obviously set on Mount Vesuvius and had miniature vintners, farmers, and other village folk going about their work. Unfortunately, all of my photos of the presepe were blurry. However, I found this interesting video of one of the workshops that makes them. While the scale is larger than the one I saw, you will get the idea.

The presepe is something that Valentino Aiello, my modern-day hero in Pompeii Fire, would be familiar with from his childhood on.

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