When I was a child my parents used to take me and my sister to visit nativity scenes set up in the churches of Pesaro during Christmas holidays. Christmas holidays last around here from Dec. 24th, the ‘Vigilia di Natale’- Christmas Eve – to Jan. 6th, the Epiphany or Befana (being ‘Befana’ an old lady wearing rags riding a broom in the sky and bringing sweets and little presents to ‘good children’ and ‘coal’ to the naughty ones!). Whereas in other parts of Italy, in the northern Lombardia for instance, Christmas holidays start on Sant’Ambrogio (Milan, Dec. 7th) or on Saint Lucy day (Dec. 13th) – ‘Santa Lucia il giorno più corto che ci sia’ – ‘Saint Lucy day – the shorter day of all’ (in Veneto – for instance – it is Saint Lucy and not Santa Claus who delivers presents to children).
Anyway, Walter and I keep the tradition going on and this morning, despite the windchill, we took Costanza to visit four nativity scenes in the heart of Pesaro (we visited three churches: San Giuseppe, St. Joseph’s, Santuario Madonna delle Grazie which I recently wrote about, the Sanctuary of our Lady of Graces, and the Cathedral). The forth nativity scene we stopped by was a touching one set up by prisoners in the main square.
Costanza – before leaving our apartment – asked me to write down the names of the churches we were going to visit on her Harry Potter notebook (we just made it to visit three churches as we got up late and I hadn’t realized that churches close at noon). Then she drew little circles in the line corresponding to the nativity scene she liked the most (so far the rankings are: 1st place – nativity scene inside Madonna delle Grazie; 2nd – nativity scene inside the Cathedral, even if when we visited the lights were off; 3rd place – San Giuseppe). Walter and I liked the nativity scene inside the church of San Giuseppe the most because we found it ‘sweet’. However Costanza said that it hadn’t to be ‘sweet’ but ‘beautiful’. Wow, she’s not 6 yet and yet she made Walter and I feel like sissies 🙂
Before January 6th we will go and visit other churches (and will post about other nativity scenes to keep the list updated!).
What about you? Which one do you like the best? Or is there any nativity scene in your town you would like to share with us?
Have a great 2015!