Winter afternoons do not tempt you to spend a lot of time outdoors, but among the most classic activities, during the Holiday season, there is the visit to the many artistic nativity scenes.

Set up in churches, outdoors or in the most unusual places, some are real engineering masterpieces. Whether they are small detailed miniatures or life-size sculptures, simple set-ups or complicated mechanized constructions, traditional or the result of contemporary reinterpretations… There is something for everyone, ready to make children’s eyes widen and enchant adults, too, between childhood memories and today’s amazement.


Nativities on the Euganean Hills

The surroundings of the AbanoRITZ offer several opportunities to see extraordinary nativity scenes. A few steps from the hotel, in Monteortone, has opened the exhibition of artistic nativity scenes, with more than 60 nativities, which are added to the permanent exhibition set up in the Don Bosco cave, still inside the Salesian Shrine of Monteortone. The exhibition is set up in an anti-aircraft shelter dug entirely in the rock and dating back to the First World War, when the structure was occupied by the Italian Army and used as a military hospital.

In Monselice, the Museo Civico di San Paolo hosts an exhibition of artistic nativity scenes from the Ghidotti Collection. Some are real antiques, dating back to the end of the 19th century, but there are also more modern works. They are made out of many different materials, and different are also the countries of origin. Of course there is no shortage of traditional manufactures such as Caltagirone and Capodimonte. Also noteworthy is the presence of the palermitan Marco Guttilla, one of the most recognized nativity artists.

An unusual tradition in Battaglia Terme features a nativity set up on the water, with numerous animated characters. The nativity scene comes to life on floating boats along the Battaglia Canal, in the historic center, where the Baby is surrounded by the characters of the popular tradition. Thanks to the music and Christmas lights, which illuminate the scene and are reflected on the water, the installation is impressive and extremely evocative.

On December 24th, at 9.00 pm, like every year, the underwater nativity of the Lago delle Rose in Arquà Petrarca will be brought back to the surface, thanks to the collaboration of the Gruppo Sommozzatori Monselice. Afterwards, the Christmas Mass will be celebrated and will be celebrated with panettone and pandoro for everyone.


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