From the south-east to the north-west of Sicily: the live nativity scenes


During the Christmas period, Sicily offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy its many live nativity scenes. They have the perfect settings for these re-enactments, such as quarries and caves, villages and hilltop towns.

Let’s go and find out where to enjoy your Christmas holidays in Sicily.

In Ispica, the nativity scene comes to life in the caves of the Cava d’Ispica. Here, the representation also recalls the ancient trades: you can see ironworkers (firrari), wicker basket makers (cannizzari), cart makers (carrittieri) and barrel makers (uttari). All are surrounded by the breathtaking natural landscape of the Cava. You will feel as if you are travelling back in time!

In the Ragusa area, Giarratana and Monterosso Almo also have their live nativity plays: in both towns, the streets of the centre are set up to recreate the atmosphere of the past.

Moving a few kilometres further on, in the Syracuse area between Avola and Cassibile, we reach the living crib of the Cavagrande reserve, in the area of the small lake of Avola (a popular touristic destination for swimming and excursions). In Licodia Eubea, in the province of Catania, you have the opportunity to taste local wines and traditional products while walking past the fragrance of the delicacies coming out of the ovens and the small shops. Continuing the journey back in time, in the town of Sutera, in the province of Caltanissetta, the nativity scene is set up in the Rabato district (the Arab quarter). Christmas here has a very special, multi-ethnic atmosphere, with the nativity scene set up among the chalk houses and Arab dammusi.

Heading towards Messina, at Castanea delle Furie, the nativity scene comes to life in the gardens of Villa Costarelli, which perfectly recreates the oriental atmosphere of Herod’s palace. We can continue our tour discovering the medieval villages perched on the Madonie mountains. In particular, the towns of Gangi and Collesano offer the chance to take in a magical Christmas atmosphere.

Our journey ends in the area around Trapani. Here we find the village of Custonaci that was built in the ancient prehistoric settlements of the Scurati caves. The living nativity scene of Custonaci is one of the most important on the island, and in 2006 it was included in the register of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Sicily.

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