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Monte Pisano in Toscana / Area  / The Nativity scenes of Monte Pisano
11 Dec

The Nativity scenes of Monte Pisano

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Christmas is on its way, but not all of you know about the Nativity scenes tucked away in the small hamlets of Monte Pisano and the Christmas markets where you can feel the magical atmosphere of this time of the year.

Whether you live here or on holiday, here are the Nativity scenes of Monte Pisano!

Nicosia Nativity Scene – Calci

“Il Presepio che Cresce” (The growing Nativity Scene), at the ancient Convent of Nicosia (Calci) is a fascinating work in progress. The first scenes were exhibited for Christmas in 1999, with entirely handmade figures, crafted by to sisters from Calci. Each year more figures and set pieces are added , faithfully recreating the historical context of Palestine in Jesus’ times. The aim is to trace, over the years, a timeline back to the birth of Jesus and to present a complete vision of life in Palestine in 1 AD.

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Mechanical Nativity Scene

At the Natural History Museum in Calci you can visit the Mechanical Nativity Scene, built by Alberto and Renzo Meucci, using particular prospective devices, light, colour and movement mechanisms which have been calculated and set up perfectly.

These two craftsmen from Calci created their first Nativity scene in 1948 in the Parish Church of Calci. They continued to create astounding mechanical Nativity scenes up until 1960, when the figures and scenes were put away in storage and then forgotten for many years. After a careful selection and restoration the figures reacquired their original movements and finally found a befitting home in the hall of the Natural History Museum in Calci, situated in the majestic Charter House of Calci.

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Angelo’s Natvitity Scene

This Nativity scene was made by the artist Angelo Perini from San Giovanni alla Vena (Pisa). It is a traditional scene, the product of passionate and meticulous work, crafted in the corner of an old cellar, using olive wood, wooden boxes, little streams and waterfalls, small and large figurines and hundreds of small details.

Among these there are real masterpieces that you can admire up close, like the Castello di Verru’a, a view over Egypt with the Pyramids and the Sphinx, the Castle in Vicopisano with the Fortress and towers… all connected with a road that winds through the scene with 500 lights and 300 statues.

The Nativity Grotto is particularly picturesque, located in a small niche in the limestone and clay wall with natural yellow, blue and pink hues.

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The live Nativity Scene in Ruota

The hilltop hamlet of Ruota turns into a small Bethlehem on Boxing day, offering to the locals and visitors alike the excitement to visit the village and to watch the live nativity scene.

All the shops are open and the historical characters, among whom Mary and Joseph, mingle along the streets . In the late afternoon, the nativity is reenacted in the main square.

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Merry Christmas from all the staff!

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Pietro Pestarini

Travelling is my constant passion and companion, in addition to sports, motorbikes and good food. I am an ex-chef and, after years spent in the kitchen, I decided to reinvent myself and to study Tourism and Marketing, which led me to Montepisano Store. I hope you enjoy reading my experiences, because they are authentic and first-hand.