Christmas time always reminds us snow, trees and logs burning in an open fireplace, but sometimes it could be synonymous with a hot and sunny Sunday - if you live in Brazil or in Sicily that is.
Joking aside, I decided to do some Christmas shopping and buy something special for my house and my mom. The tradition of the Nativity Scene/Creche is highly respected and a strong feature of the Sicilian Christmas, so I thought that it was the perfect occasion to buy a little angel or Nativity character made of precious pottery. Caltagirone is the capital city of pottery in Sicily and every year it celebrates the Nativity Scene with a citywide exhibition.
If the name “Caltagirone” means nothing to you, think about Marpessa and the amazing Dolce&Gabbana campaign of 1987, with that long ceramic staircase and that particular Sicilian mood, which will forever be famous.
Like most, the little girl inside me goes crazy during the festivities and first of all I wanted to visit the biggest animated Nativity Scene to have been made in the world: a little Caltagirone museum re-created it into an attraction and it is really charming and magical.
Walking through the city, I found lots of pottery boutiques and I was amazed at the modernity melted and fused with tradition in every single piece, a mix I’ve found in the quite strange photovoltaic Nativity Scene. Yes, photovoltaic, also know as solar panels. It seems that in Caltagirone people have fun creating something unusual with a traditional art like the Christmas Nativity Scene.
The most amazing thing you can do - if you like hearing about stories - is to ask the craftsman about their work: everyone loves the craft that they have worked on, but because of the strong religious meaning, the nativity characters are particularly beloved by those that create them.
Before making my way home, I couldn’t resist walking up the famous ceramic staircase, where another scene was placed. It’s hard, yes, but when you reach the top of the stairs, the landscape is simply amazing and is a must for all who visit.
Each week Sicilian Girl will be giving us the chance to see more of the Sicilian way of life through her eyes and all you have to do is click below. Enjoy!
And to see what else she has been up to on Swide, click below.