Inghams Italy Advent- 18 dicembre
Wed Dec 2014
Naples certainly is a city where the Christmas tradition is felt very deeply. Neapolitans find the greatest expression of the Christmas spirit in nativity scenes. The presepenapoletano is truly a form of art in Naples and there is no doubt that here having a nativity scene at home is even more important than having a Christmas tree.
Naples is famous worldwide for a street where all local presepe artisans have their workshops one next to the other: via San Gregorio Armeno. This is one of the oldest streets in Naples. Thousands of people come here every year to see presepe artists exposing their little artifacts in front of their workshops. The tiny statues on sale represent not only traditional biblical figures, but also characters of Neapolitan popular culture like Pulcinella and even contemporary politicians or movie stars. Every Christmas new statues are exposed, representing celebrities who have been particularly popular during the current year.
If possible, the street becomes even more festive in December, when it is decorated Christmas lights representing the traditional figures of the presepenapoletano. The other main streets also have beautiful decorations, including via Toledo, Naples’ shopping mecca. And if one gets hungry after admiring nativity scenes and choosing Christmas presents, it’s time to stop for a sweet treat. Of course, you can have some panettone if you want, but here it’s all about the sticky and colourful struffoli.
Even at Christmas, it is very obvious that Naples has a character of its own. Nothing here is banal, not even the holiday season.