Italy's Cavallermaggiore is Reenactment of The Nativity Scene

Published December 22nd, 2019 - 08:25 GMT

The nativity scene or crèche, called in Italian the presepe or presepio, brings to life the story of the Nativity has been an important feature of Christmas celebrations in Italy for centuries.

The Crib of Cavallermaggiore, now in its forty-third edition, is built on an area of ​​over 300 square meters. Starting from a stable structure and it takes about 3 months of work by a dozen volunteers to be realised.

The main characteristics that make it unique are two: the first is the fact of being able to walk inside it, being able to observe from various angles the various settings and scenes of life of the crib; the second are the statues that compose it: the largest (about 50 cm high), which form the market, the cave and the area of ​​the Magi, date back to 1700 and have the particularity of having glass eyes and being sculpted in the wood with great skill and accuracy.

There is a sense of calmness and reflection of everyday life when you visit a Nativity display. 
 

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Volunteer Matteo Seia holds a nativity figure of Jesus, one of the most ancient figures of the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Volunteer Matteo Seia holds a nativity figure of Jesus, one of the most ancient figures of the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Volunteer Maria Franca Testa sews clothes for a nativity figure at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "presepio" is made by ten volunteers than every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Volunteer Maria Franca Testa sews clothes for a nativity figure at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "presepio" is made by ten volunteers than every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Volunteer Mario Curcetti uses a watering can to set a small river at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Volunteer Mario Curcetti uses a watering can to set a small river at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Volunteers Mario Curcetti and Dario Assie prepare figures for the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele, are pictured at its 43rd edition on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Volunteers Mario Curcetti and Dario Assie prepare figures for the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele, are pictured at its 43rd edition on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Volunteer Mario Curcetti walks through the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele at its 43rd edition on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Volunteer Mario Curcetti walks through the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele at its 43rd edition on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Volunteers set nativity figures at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Volunteers set nativity figures at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Volunteers set nativity figures at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Volunteers set nativity figures at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Nativity figures ready to be positioned are pictured for the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele, are pictured at its 43rd edition on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Nativity figures ready to be positioned are pictured for the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele, are pictured at its 43rd edition on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Volunteer Matteo Seia prepares a nativity figure for the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Volunteer Matteo Seia prepares a nativity figure for the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Volunteer Ilario Geuna cleans a nativity figure at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Volunteer Ilario Geuna cleans a nativity figure at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Volunteer Matteo Seia holds a nativity figure of Jesus, one of the most ancient figures of the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteer Maria Franca Testa sews clothes for a nativity figure at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "presepio" is made by ten volunteers than every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteer Mario Curcetti uses a watering can to set a small river at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteers Mario Curcetti and Dario Assie prepare figures for the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele, are pictured at its 43rd edition on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteer Mario Curcetti walks through the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele at its 43rd edition on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteers set nativity figures at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteers set nativity figures at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Nativity figures ready to be positioned are pictured for the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele, are pictured at its 43rd edition on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteer Matteo Seia prepares a nativity figure for the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteer Ilario Geuna cleans a nativity figure at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteer Matteo Seia holds a nativity figure of Jesus, one of the most ancient figures of the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteer Matteo Seia holds a nativity figure of Jesus, one of the most ancient figures of the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteer Maria Franca Testa sews clothes for a nativity figure at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "presepio" is made by ten volunteers than every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteer Maria Franca Testa sews clothes for a nativity figure at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "presepio" is made by ten volunteers than every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteer Mario Curcetti uses a watering can to set a small river at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteer Mario Curcetti uses a watering can to set a small river at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteers Mario Curcetti and Dario Assie prepare figures for the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele, are pictured at its 43rd edition on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteers Mario Curcetti and Dario Assie prepare figures for the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele, are pictured at its 43rd edition on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteer Mario Curcetti walks through the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele at its 43rd edition on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteer Mario Curcetti walks through the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele at its 43rd edition on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteers set nativity figures at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteers set nativity figures at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteers set nativity figures at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteers set nativity figures at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Nativity figures ready to be positioned are pictured for the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele, are pictured at its 43rd edition on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Nativity figures ready to be positioned are pictured for the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele, are pictured at its 43rd edition on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundreds of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteer Matteo Seia prepares a nativity figure for the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteer Matteo Seia prepares a nativity figure for the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteer Ilario Geuna cleans a nativity figure at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Volunteer Ilario Geuna cleans a nativity figure at the 43rd edition of the "Presepio of Cavallermaggiore", a 300sqm Christmas Nativity crib in the Oratorio San Michele on December 20, 2019 in Cavallermaggiore, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy. The "Presepio" is made by ten volunteers who every year spend 3 months to build a new edition with hundred of figures. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP