The Neapolitan tradition of nativity

Neapolitan Nativity - San Gregorio Armeno

Neapolitan Nativity – San Gregorio Armeno

 

In the historical centre of Naples, in Via San Gregorio Armeno, the art of nativity is a tradition more than 400 years old. The street, also known worldwide as the “street of nativity”, is famous for its many artisanal shops where artists work all year round to produce handmade figures which sizes vary from a few millimetres up to man size. The streets start to get crowded from the beginning of November until the end of January, however shops selling nativities are open all year round. The majority of artisans have learnt the job from their ancestors as this is a job passed by from generation to generation. Every year, as per tradition, the artisans produce some of the most popular characters from TV, politics, or real life who, for any reason, have attracted media attention. Some are spoofs like the one representing Berlusconi and the political cast.

 

Neapolitan Nativity - San Gregorio Armeno

Neapolitan Nativity – San Gregorio Armeno

 

Nativity characters

Nativity characters

 

Neapolitan Nativity - San Gregorio Armeno

Neapolitan Nativity – San Gregorio Armeno

 

Neapolitan Nativity - San Gregorio Armeno

Neapolitan Nativity – San Gregorio Armeno

 

Neapolitan Nativity - San Gregorio Armeno

Neapolitan Nativity – San Gregorio Armeno

 

Handmade figurine and grocery shop

Handmade figurine and grocery shop

 

If you go there, do not miss the church and monastery of San Gregorio Armeno, in the same street as the nativity shops. The entrance is quite understated but it hides one of the most beautiful treasures of the Baroque age. The cupola was painted by Luca Giordano and it represents the Glory of San Gregorio. A masterpiece.

Church of San Gregorio Armeno - Naples

Church of San Gregorio Armeno – Naples

 

 

 

 

 

 



Veronica Grimaldi Hinojosa - Traveller. Italian. Ceviche addict. She understood at a very young age she would catch the travel bug so she started to learn English, French and Latin aged 11 and later studied German and Spanish. She has been living in London for the last 11 years. Not even her unforgettable sabbatical gap in French Polynesia could stop her from falling in love with Peru and Peruvian food, even though Neapolitan pizza remains always part of her DNA. Among her other passions there is also advertising, branding, fine dining and luxury and she blogs about these at the Circle of Luxury. She is currently learning Portuguese.

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