Nativity scenes in Bologna and around the region


Nativity scenes in Bologna and around the region

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Bologna has a long and happy tradition regarding nativity scenes. Bologna was in fact a highly qualified centre of this special production.
Bologna’s tradition dates back to the eighteenth century when great artists started creating statuettes, thus signing the beginning of the artistic crib’s production season.

The itinerary proposed this year includes 42 nativity scenes. As usual some special tours (in Italian) are offered by Municipality of Bologna and guided by the experts of Centro Studi per la Cultura Popolare to make people discover Bologna’s cribs and their rich tradition.
Here the complete list of places where admire the artistic creations.

But not only in Bologna you can enjoy artistic nativity scenes, region is rich re this theme. Prized artistic versions that involve whole towns, nativity scenes on the water or on boats, live representations with hundreds of figures, delicately made in sand or salt, small mechanical moving masterpieces, multiethnic nativities and scenes in grottoes. It is Christmas in the towns and historic centers, that allows you to enjoy creations which come from the fervid creativity of artists and local townsmen.

Nativity scenes made with salt and sand, the two main elements of the seaside are not to be missed.
In Cervia, inside the MUSA (Museum of Salt) there is a nativity scene made in 1992 by an ancient salt pan worker, to preserve it from humidity is under a case where the temperature is constantly kept between 25° a 30°.

Presepe di Sale di Cerva (Ra)
In Marina di Ravenna, on the beach of the Circolo Marinai d’Italia behind the protective dam, on a 300 square meter surface, there is a sea themed nativity that shows the Sacred Family surrounded by fishermen, fishing nets, and boat masts.

Created by sand sculptors from Barcelona, Moscow, Warsaw and Amsterdam is the nativity scene in Bellaria-Igea Marina, visible at Bagno 78 and 78 bis.  It is a classic interpretation of the nativity with life size figures, created using the “tutto tondo” technique, with breathtaking landscapes and particular details.

Then there is the 600 square meter area that will take visitors on a journey into the Nativity among monuments, arts and trades dating back to the first centuries AD. It is the Nativity in Torre Pedrera (North of Rimini), at Bagno 64 and 65 along the seaside, created by a team of famous international artists and made with more than 1,000,000 kilos of sand. This nativity is set up in Roman era Rimini for the occasion of the 2000th anniversary of the beginning of construction of the Tiberus Bridge, with scenes of daily life and in the background of country and farm life.

In Rimini, the great 450 square meter nativity set up in the temporary structure in Piazzale Boscovich is instead dedicated to the port and its role as a meeting place, a starting point and, more importantly, a point of arrival. The artists that created the sculptures of this Nativity immersed in the world of fishermen are from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean Basin.

sand nativity scene by Bocchini

Last but not least the Artistic Nativity of the Academy of Brera, set up in downtown Milano Marittima, with about fifty white sculptures of two shepherds with their flock, and as many painted elements such as the dozens of standards among the pine trees of the city with thoughts on the nativity and positive messages.

Complete list of nativity scenes in the region.

Let us wish all of you Merry Christmas and a very happy new year.


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