Live nativity scenes in Tuscany, a magical tradition continuing through years

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The depiction of Jesus' nativity scene is one of the most Christmas-related traditions in Italy. It can be of various types, whether related to a handcrafted production of shepherds statues, or a real figurants staging. The live nativity scenes in Tuscany are several and each one presents a typicality, or a particular characteristic. We aim to make a small list of the most beautiful, live nativity scenes in Tuscany you just must not miss this Christmas 2022!

Live nativity scenes in Tuscany


Nativity displays in Tuscany are a heartfelt tradition, so much that there are veritable related museums. To get an exhaustive list of all the nativity scenes that can be admired in this so closely associated with art region, including of course the live ones, you can consult the Terre di Presepi website.

It goes without saying that Tuscan villages and hills turn out to be perfect locations to host these wonderful representations so close to Christmas, with the result that the living cribs in Tuscany are among the most evocative in the whole Boot-shaped Country.

The living cribs in Tuscany are then accompanied by many other truly original and unique nativity representations, such as the Nativity with Pinocchios, where we have a crib composed of shepherds all having likeness of Collodi's most famous creature, or the Crocheted Nativity, 26 meters of totally hand-embroidered sets.

The living nativity scenes in Tuscany we want to explore in this article, on the other hand, are those of San Miniato Basso, Ruota in the municipality of Capannori, Casciana Terme, and Castiglion Fiorentino.

San Miniato Basso: in the Pisa province there's one of the most exciting living cribs in Tuscany

In San Miniato Basso, a small hamlet of the town of San Miniato, the living crib was born thanks to the initiative of a volunteers group. The nativity scene is maybe so special right because it was born from the passion of people, from the desire to represent something even with few means at their disposal. Over the years, this San Miniato initiative has grown so much, resulting in one of the most anticipated and beloved live nativity scenes in Tuscany.

A small Bethlehem has been reproduced in the square of the Santo Stefano parish, while on Dec. 26 and Jan. 6 a procession, starring characters faithfully reproducing trades and clothing featured on the nativity scene, parades through the streets of the town, thanks to the participation of more than 150 figures.

The living crib in the medieval village of Ruota


Ruota, a mountainous hamlet of Capannori in the Lucca province, is known for its evocative live nativity scene, this year going to be held on Boxing Day, December 26. That's the 32nd edition of this initiative, organized by the Cultural Association Living Nativity Scene of Ruota, founded in fact in 1990.

The focus of the representation is in the Ruota central square, where the figurants will bring the nativity to life, staging ancient crafts and arts while the place of honor will, of course, fall to the Holy Family.

Around the village streets adorned with decorations, the Christmas notes of local musicians will resound, and there will be booths where buying local gastronomic and artistic products.

Faithful reproductions of the live nativity scene in Casciana Terme


The province of Pisa is perhaps among the most attentive to live representations concerning nativity scenes in Tuscany. In fact, even the town of Casciana Terme, reaching this year the 17th edition of its living cribs and recreating the typical dwellings existing at Jesus' time, is included in our small list.

The costumed procession going to get underway on Sunday, December 18, will involve more than a hundred characters, parading from Parco delle Terme to Corte Aquisana, the very center of medieval Casciana. The atmosphere of the procession will be made even more enveloping and magical through the use of flashlights and candles.

Castiglion Fiorentino: double date with the living crib


Closing out our list is Castiglion Fiorentino in the Arezzo province which, to celebrate in 2022 the 30th anniversary of its live nativity scene, gives its guests two events, respectively on December 18 and 26. The organizational phase of the event is, as usual, entrusted to the Pro Loco Castiglion Fiorentino.

From Piazza del Comune to Piazza Sant'Agostino, a perfect route is followed to explore typical alleys and narrow streets, cheered by the presence of 150 figurants, united by the desire to create a unique and wonderful spectacle.

The 2022 edition symbolizes to all intents and purposes a restart after the stop caused by the pandemic, so that Christmas can finally be celebrated in a communion of hearts and souls.

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