Naples is the top spot in Italy for presepi or Italian nativity displays. The Neapolitano style nativity displays began in the 18th century when Charles III wanted a presepe that included not just the traditional Christmas crib but also figures from everyday life. He commissioned six master woodcarvers to create scenes and intricate figurines from working people to the royal family. This presepe is now in Rome - photo and information.
Making elaborate presepi was popular with rich families in the 18th century and many of them are on display in the San Martino Museum of Naples. The tradition has continued and nearly every family in Naples sets up a nativity scene that includes traditional 18th century pieces or popular modern figures and they can be quite entertaining.
Enjoy our pictures of Naples nativity scenes and work shops.
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