Naples is not only famous for its gastronomic treats but also for its undying art of making nativity scenes or as they call it here a Neapolitan presepi. Legend has it that St Francis of Assisi had requested to have a presepe made in this old neighborhood called San Gregorio Armeno. That was as early as the 13th century. Since then, this art of making nativity scenes had flourished in Naples, making the city as the undisputed queen of nativity scenes and the place to be during this holiday season.
One particular street in this old historical center of Naples became a worldwide phenomenon because of this nativity scenes. This long narrow street called Via San Gregorio Armeno had been the center of this art and not only during Christmas but during the whole year round. It is such a delight walking and browsing at different stores portraying either a trattoria kind of nativity scenes or anything an artist could think of.
Via San Gregorio Armeno has been ranked as one of the 10 places you should see here in Naples. Not only during the Holiday season but anytime of the year. It does not only offer you a unique look at this century-old art of nativity making but also offers a glimpse of what Naples was like and perhaps what everybody thinks of the city- that authenticity beyond the control of modern technology. You will understand once you see visit this old neighborhood. It’s just simply a step back in time. And with all these Nativity Scenes all around you, some say that Naples is the Christmas capital of Italy.
With only a couple of days left before Christmas, I remember this particular street Via San Gregorio Armeno. Not so many places are into this kind of art. It may not be as grand or fabulous as other nativity scenes in the world but its uniqueness comes with unwavering zeal that survives the test of time. That I guess is the simple outlook on how we should view this Yuletide season. It’s always the simplicity of things that gives the most joy.
Wishing you love, peace and tons of beautiful moments this Yuletide season!