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Pope Francis

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From the bizarre to the original: Unique Nativity Scenes on display in Rome

2014-12-21

The tradition of setting up nativity scenes was actually born in Italy, thanks to St. Francis of Assisi. So, it doesn't get more Italian than this: A nativity scene, shepherds and all, made out of pasta. 

It's just one of hundreds of original designs, on display at a yearly Christmas exhibit titled "100 Nativity Sets.” 

MARIA MENAGLIA
100 Presepi (Rome)
"This year we have 212 of them on display. They are all new and they came from 42 different countries. From Italy alone, we have some from 14 regions. They represent all the culture of the world.” 

Even though the exhibit is based in Europe, Latin American has a strong presence. Countries like Mexico, Colombia and Peru put forth their best work for the show. 

Displays like these prove that a tradition that started centuries ago, is still very much alive today on a global scale. 

MARIA MENAGLIA
100 Presepi (Rome)
"In the 60's this tradition was dying in Italy. The Christmas tree was more fashionable back then. So my father came up with the idea of this exhibit.  He loved tradition, especially the Nativity Scene. We had ours every year.”

So from now until January 6th, all locals and plenty of visitors will have the chance to head out to Rome's Piazza del Poppolo to see how this old tradition, is still very much alive. A tradition that stems from celebrating the birth of baby Jesus. 


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