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ph Myriam Zilles
December 14, 2022

The most beautiful nativity scenes in Florence

From the one on the cathedral forecourt to the historical one in the Basilica of Santo Spirito: here are the ones to visit

On the parvis of Florence Cathedral from 8 December until Epiphany, the large nativity scene with life-size terracotta statues can be seen. These are unique terracotta pieces handmade by the artisan Luigi Mariani of the Impruneta Mital kiln and donated to the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore. A second nativity scene is also set up inside the cathedral.

The crib on the parvis of Florence Cathedral where it will remain until Epiphany

The great novelty of 2022 is the Camoggiano Crib, created by the Renaissance sculptor Benedetto Buglioni and exhibited in the Sala delle Udienze in Palazzo Vecchio, as part of the museum itinerary for a fee. It consists of 10 polychrome terracotta statues that are normally kept in the Diocesan Museum of Santo Stefano al Ponte in Florence.

Il Presepe di Camoggiano

The basilica of Santo Spirito hosts the traditional nativity scene of master Albino Todeschini, set up together with some volunteers. An opportunity also to admire the works of art housed in the basilica.

Presepe Albino Todeschini

At the Uffizi Galleries, Lebanese-Canadian artist Marya Kazoun explains through an installation inspired by the nativity scene how to create a new world free of pollution, environmental disasters and global warming. The almost arboreal silhouettes of the Magi, made of wadding 2.60 metres high and covered in a milky white cloth, do not bring the gift of gold, frankincense and myrrh but clean energy, represented by the wind turbines mounted on top of them. First Act, this is the name of the work, conveys the environmentalist message throughout the Christmas holidays and until 29 January from the Sala Bianca, the most prestigious space of the Pitti Palace in Florence.



Other nativity scenes traditionally realised during the Christmas festivities in the churches of Florence include:

  • The nativity exhibition at the Rivoli Boutique Hotel in Florence, with free admission. For the occasion, 30 artist's nativities, large and small, created by artisan Carlo Ladurini.

  • The Bassi all'Isolotto mechanised artistic nativity set up in the parish of the same name. With more than 60 moving characters and a narrating voice, it recounts various episodes linked to the birth of Jesus.

  • La via dei Presepi di Cerreto Guidi (The Street of Cribs in Cerreto Guidi) showcases about a hundred creations by master crib-makers, scattered along the streets of the historic centre of the village until 15 January 2023

  • In Borgo San Lorenzo there is an evocative mechanical nativity scene that has been built for forty years in the Oratory of the Santissimo Crocifisso

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