Throughout Tuscany there are many nativity scenes and events related to them: discover where to find them and spend a nice family day out. Tuscany becomes even more fascinating at Christmas time, when towns and villages are decked out in light and colour and the atmosphere is festive wherever you go: events, concerts, markets and nativity scenes, the undisputed symbol of Christmas holidays.
Palazzuolo sul Senio
In Palazzuolo sul Senio, a few kilometres from Florence, the big attraction is the "1000 nativity scenes" exhibition. Until January 6, more than 150 nativity scenes will be scattered throughout the streets of the village for a unique walk. To be sure not to miss anything, you can pick up a map of the village at the tourist information office and in the stores.
Another traditional date is the one with the artistic nativity scenes in Cigoli, which attracts visitors from all over Tuscany and beyond. It is a nativity scene that makes the most of technology, where all the characters move at the same rhythm all day long. The Nativity scene of Cigoli (near San Miniato) is embellished with bright effects of great beauty and covers over 100 square meters.
In Castelfiorentino, until January 6, over 50 nativity scenes adorn the historic centre. Local residents make the pieces in the nativity scenes by hand, becoming artists for the Christmas period. For a month, Castello Alto becomes a popular destination for tourists who are enchanted by the Nativity scenes of various shapes, sizes and materials. Make sure you see the one in the Oratory of S. Filippo Neri, which occupies 50 square meters and with special effects. There will be also many events such as concerts, historical re-enactments and more.
Until January 6, San Godenzo hosts an exhibition called "100 Presepi" (100 nativity scenes). The windows, corners and the most charming views of the village are the setting for the scenes of the Nativity crafted mainly by local residents but also by artists and worldwide famous collectors.
In Bettolle (Sinalunga), the exhibition of the Nativity scenes is now in its 20th year, combining local traditions. Every year, in fact, the five districts of the village make a different nativity scene, which is then exhibited to visitors. The result of this work can be admired until January 6.
San Giovanni Valdarno
The exhibition "Christmas in the World" held in San Giovanni Valdarno is also worth a visit. The event is the result of the passion of two collectors, Giuseppe D'Orsi and Pino Polcaro, and can be found in the village. The exhibition is held in the beautiful Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie and is renewed every year with a different theme, while always contemplating refined works by Italian and foreign artists.
Another appointment not to be missed is in Scarperia until January 6, where the Vecchia Propositura (the Old Rectory) hosts “A Nativity scene... hundred nativity scenes”. The exhibition was created to give everyone the possibility to see again, after years, the completely restored papier-mâché Nativity scene by Leprino Sant'Agata. You can also find a series of Nativity scenes from private collections.
San Miniato Basso
Do not forget the Living Nativity of San Miniato Basso, the human size nativity scene of San Miniato, the Museum of the Nativity of Usigliano (Lari) and Artistic Nativity of the Bassi, in Florence. Original post by Roberta Ristori on intoscana.it