The neapolitan crib

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The neapolitan crib

The crib and 1700’s Naples.
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It doesn’t matter if we call crib or nativity, Naples is its world capital. Every year from the last Sunday in November, hundreds of buses arrive at the city of Vesuvius and thousands of people fill the streets of San Gregorio Armeno and Spaccanapoli to visit the exhibitions organized by the many workshops in the heart of "Spanish Naples".

But , why "Neapolitan nativity scene" is so important? Perhaps because it is unique. The "Neapolitan crib" is a mixture of devotion and history, religious fervor and local traditions.

Next to the baby Jesus, to the Holy Family and the shepherds, you can admire a representation of the life of the Naples of 1700, during the Bourbon period: ladies and gentlemen of the nobility, representatives of the bourgeoisie of the time, vendors with their banks where you can admire miniatures of cheese, bread, sheep, pigs, ducks, grape.

We might have met this people in a market of eighteenth century: gypsy predicting the future, people playing cards, housewives doing shopping, dogs, cats and chickens.

And the Holy Family? Well, religious figures are at the center of "Praesepium". The baby Jesus born in the ruins of an ancient temple, a homage to Pompeii and Herculaneum newly discovered, so that the coming of the Son of God appears as a miracle, something extraordinary because so different from everyday life.

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Alessandro Indelli
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