The ancient tradition of the living nativity scene in Sorrento

Sorrento, the sun, the lemons and the sea. Let’s say the truth, when you think of this place you always think of the summer, the heat, the long days of carefree. But have you ever imagine Sorrento in winter time? Have you ever tried to dream of it during the Christmas period?

If you have never done so, book your Sorrentine holidays in December to discover the ancient traditions of a unique territory. Such as the living nativity scene.

The living nativity scene, a Sorrento tradition

Sorrento and surroundings, the medieval villages and the Amalfi Coast, are a natural setting that lends itself to many shows. In fact, these locations are often been chosen as movie set.

Until the last century it was known, in Campania, for the beauty of the rites of the Holy Week which are held here according to ancient rituals for centuries. But from a few years, Sorrento has decided to focus on winter tourism, offering visitors the magic of Christmas in all its forms. The living nativity scene, which is organised in different locations in the district, is one of these spells.

Casarlano living nativity

This district of Sorrento, surrounded by citrus and olive groves, is gathered around the church and the Dominican convent.

The living nativity scene that has been organized here for seven editions is staged right along this path that surrounds the sacred buildings and ends inside the church, in the courtyard of the parish oratory.

So you can admire not only the characters, the real animals and the beautiful costumes of the nativity scene but also the beautiful panorama.

All the neighborhood (250 listed) takes part in the event and there are also tastings of local goodness.

Priora: the nativity scene in the houses

Another traditional nativity scene, here in Sorrento, is in the village of Priora.

A shuttle service connects the main square of Sorrento with this small town nestled among the lemon groves where the living nativity has a peculiarity: it is staged inside the courtyards, alleys and private homes, thus creating an atmosphere that will make you feel truly in family.

Caprile nativity, in Gragnano

It is about one hour drive from Sorrento, but is fully part of its diocese, the town of Gragnano.

And it is here that you have to come if you want to admire one of the biggest and rich living nativity scenes of Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast: in the hamlet of Caprile, in fact, the union of two parish projects – the churches of San Ciro and Sant’Agnello in Aurano – gives life every year, in December, to a unique show.

About 10,000 square meters of extension, about 300 people recreate the small world of Bethlehem and  of the ancient Neapolitan culture.

Also if shepherds and angels will dress in the Middle East way, but they will offer you excellent limoncello, tasty mozzarella and other Sorrento goodies that really worth trying.

Information about nativity scene

Living nativity scenes of Sorrento tradition are usually staged from Christmas Eve.

They can not be visited every day but only on certain dates of the weeks between December 25th and January 7th.

Normally every nativity is staged for three days a week, although sometimes they can be four.

The dates change from time to time.