Many years ago, Massimo and I had the unforgettable experience of visiting Naples on December 8th - the holiday in Italy celebrating the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. The holiday has traditionally marked the beginning of the Holiday Season in Italy. And during the holiday weekend, Italians arrive in droves in Naples to visit one small neighborhood to purchase handcrafted nativity figurines.
The narrow alleys of this neighborhood, called San Gregorio Armeno, were so crowded that you could barely move! But there was such excitement and joy in the air, that I did not feel any of the frustration that one might feel on a busy Black Friday. It was actually so much fun to peek into all of the little family-run workshops and to see all of the different figurines, including ones from current culture - from soccer stars to President Obama!
In Massimo's family, the nativity or "presepe" scene is the most important holiday decoration - like the Christmas tree in my family. Every year, they add a new figurine to the scene. In Italy, the nativity scenes go well beyond the manger to include the entire village - from the butcher to the flower vendor to the fish monger.
After visiting all of the workshops in San Gregorio Armeno, Massimo and I were so impressed with the Ferrigno family workshop. We are proud to offer for sale their beautiful nativity sets. Their figurines are handcrafted and handpainted terracotta and the larger ones are dressed by hand. We are sure that these nativity sets will become prized heirlooms in your family.