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Puglia and the magic of its living nativity scenes

Monday 24 december 2018

6 unmissable live nativity scenes in Puglia to fully experience the magic of Christmas

Puglia and the magic of its living nativity scenes

Wonderful landscaping scenarios. Countries, sometimes, already "cribs". Uncontaminated nature or reality still not violated by man.

These are the settings of the most interesting Apulian living nativity scenes of the Christmas festivities, to draw them between the last glimpse of 2018 and the very first days of 2019, up to the Epiphany. We have chosen six, one for each province.


Presepe vivente ad Alberona

We start from the north and here is Alberona, in the province of Foggia.

We are in the area really more north of Puglia (not that there are others even more on, think of the countries of the dam of Occhito or to reality as Chieuti and San Paolo Civitate), area of ​​villages, the beautiful villages of Subappennino Dauno: 49 small towns, some of which are known for the charm of their historic centers. Alberona is one of these.

A thousand inhabitants, 700 meters above sea level, Alberona is a bed of peace and quiet (after all, one of the possible etymology of the small center proposes the "alveus" hypothesis). More than 2000 years have passed since the Savior's arrival, yet Alberona takes much of his life to make sure that the centuries seem to have passed as little as possible. Where "his" is a natural morphology of the territory and of the structures of the center. Thus, the whole village participates in the event. The houses on the ground floor are transformed. The churches as well. The peasants' garage also. And the stone lanes say ancient and historical.

More than a hundred the participants of the event, the largest of all the Capitanata. Alberona becomes Bethlehem: from the tree house (another etymological hypothesis) to that of bread (Bethlehem wants to say this, you know).

Alberona is also a city of dialect historical poets and enviable panoramic views. The nativity scene is in its tenth consecutive year, organized by the cultural association "Giovani nel Tempo", in collaboration with the Nativity parish of the Virgin Mary, under the patronage of the Club for the UNESCO of Alberona. A young crib and wanted by young people. One of the novelties of this tenth edition will be the presence of the bagpipers who will delight with the typical and ancient melodies the arrival of the Magi.

These are the dates to visit Alberona and its crib: 24 (after the night mass), 26 and 30 December (in these two dates from 18.30 to 21.00). The crib will close on January 6th with the arrival of the Three Kings.


Presepe vivente a Canosa

Canosa di Puglia is not really a village today, but we include it in this overview because, in addition to the crib, it will fascinate you much more. Located in the province of Barletta-Andria-Trani, it dominates both the valley of the famous river Ofanto (that of the battle of Cannae, between the Romans and Hannibal) and the Tavoliere delle Puglie. A very important archaeological center, with a heritage that can not be told in a piece like this, such interest is still aroused in visitors and scholars today. To visit the Byzantine cathedral of San Sabino, famous for the Boemondo mausoleum. His hypogea are also very well known, including the Lagrasta. The bridge over the Fanto and the amphitheater dates back to Roman times, not to mention the monuments along the Trajan Way: the Casieri Tower and the Arch of Terenzio Varrone. Paleochristians instead the excavations of San Pietro, the baptistery of San Giovanni, the Basilica of San Leucio and the mosaic of the Cross of Salomone. Really a huge and enviable heritage that makes Canosa one of the main pearls of Puglia for the testimonies of ancient history.

The living nativity scene was born in 1994 thanks to the parish of Mary Most Holy of the Rosary: ​​almost 150 involved people, in the area of ​​Constantinople. Here are the dates: 26, 28, 29 and 30 December plus 4, 5 and 6 January 2019.



Alberobello and his trulli do not need any introduction. Among the major attractions of the whole Puglia, boast of visitors every year, especially in spring and summer.

Expression of the local rural world, these buildings tell a lot of the inestimable sociological and traditional apparatus offered by this distant civilization. The interesting museum of the territorial identity of Alberobello and of the trulli will certainly not disappoint the visitor's expectations. A place that allows you to penetrate this long history. Alberobello, among many, was also loved by Pier Paolo Pasolini. Dedals and streets, whiteness that assails: the visit to the famous Trullo Sovrano is also inevitable. Here too a nice bookcase.

Finally, the mother church dedicated to the Medici Saints Cosma and Damiano is also interesting, with frescoes from the twentieth century. In the immediate surroundings, a small museum dedicated to the memory of the Archbishop of Lecce Cosmo Ruppi, in the past also a presbyter in Larino, in Molise. The clergyman was a native of Alberobello.

As for the crib, it must be said that we are facing a truly historic appointment: we are indeed at issue number 48. From 26 to 29 December, therefore, about 200 participants will make Alberobello even more impressive than it already is . In case of adverse weather conditions, there will be a recovery day on December 30th. Admission is free, there is the possibility to book the visit by choosing day and time (

The event will be located inside the Aia Piccola district.


Pezze di Greco

Pezze di Greco is a populous hamlet of Fasano, in the province of Brindisi. Still at the end of the 1920s, Fasano belonged to the district of Bari: in the capital the city keeps its memory alive even in the accent of its inhabitants, definitely not yet Salento.

Pezze di Greco has nineteenth-century history, therefore very recent. It was founded by farmers of Fasano or Cisternino origin. Its name derives from the large and important masseria of the Greek family, a family of Tarantina origin (Martina Franca). "Pezze" stands for plot of land derived from the possessions of this famous and rich family. Its living nativity scene, set up in a rocky area, is very well known and very tight in Puglia. History is not very young for this crib: we are at the thirtieth edition. Many are the figures, considering that the organization is due to a village. A crib then really worth visiting to fully perceive the pride of a community that is all here. Appointment on December 26th, 29th and 30th; 1, 5 and 6 January (16-21 hours).



In Faggiano we are very close to the area of ​​the Ionian marine of Lizzano and Leporano. One of the smallest towns in the province of Taranto, one almost completely destroyed a small church in the hamlet of San Crispieri, dedicated to Santa Maria di Costantinopoli. Abandonment, here. That sense of farewell and yet of living vision. The church is on the road. On one side you have the small hill of the "capital" Faggiano, on the other this ancient structure. The scorgi, you support yourself. And keep company with abandonment. An almost macabre and therefore fascinating scenery, the church attracts those who pass through here.

Born in 1992, the nativity scene takes place in a natural site near the hillside of the village, which the organizers write, seems to have "shaped specifically for this type of representation: natural caves, rocky conformations easily exploited as places for the development of the various activities that usually surround and enrich a crib, walkways that draw a very suitable path to let the visitors enter the living of the representation and some tweaking, to make the place more welcoming, contribute to determine a scenario that lends itself well to the event " . The dates: 25, 26 and 29 December; 1, 4 and 6 January.


 Presepe vivente a Specchia


leccese deep, is the country of the hypogea: there are currently four visible, well preserved. Beautiful that of the monastery of the Franciscans Neri (also interesting for the valuable frescoes and the crypt) and the one, closer to the center, very sinuous, known as "Scupola". Beautiful lands, these, with breathtaking landscapes, around the small reliefs of the Serre Salentine, unique detectable peaks of altitude in these areas.

Specchia has long been a fully integrated city in its growth and development. Here the director Edoardo Winspeare set scenes from his film "Sangue Vivo". The Specchia segment of an important street of the past, the Via Sallentina, extending the Via Appia or, according to others, of the Traiana-Calabra, which linked the major centers of the Messapia, resists the neglect. A relevant road even in Christian times for pilgrimages to Leuca and its sanctuary.

The living crib of Specchia, set up in the old village, is organized by the cultural association "Eugenia Ravasco", by the young people of the Catholic Action, together with the Municipality of Specchia and the parish Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Two hundred figures for a nativity scene that also includes scenes of pure scenic representation. It can be visited on 25, 26 and 30 December and 1 and 6 January, from 17.3 to 21.

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