It’s Christmas time again and the cities are boasting their Christmas lights to the delight of kids and even the big kids like me! I thought this Christmas I would take you to the Cinque Terre to enjoy the fantastic luminous Nativity scene that adorns the hillside above Manarola.
Mario Andreoli has been creating this masterpiece for the past 50 years, adding and changing figures each year to the now 300 or more characters. A retired railway worker, he is super industrious and passionate about his creations, forever designing new scenes and improving on the old ones.
He is well loved by the community as posters and paintings in the village proudly broadcast his merits and the excitement mounts for the ceremonial ‘light up’ on the 8th December. Something like Obama turning on the Xmas tree lights!
All the life size figures are made from recycled materials, lit by thousands of light bulbs and in this you tube video you can see Mario at work. Although advanced in years he works diligently on various projects which include the Stations of the cross and the Resurrection at Easter and a special scene made in 2011 for the 150 year anniversary of the Unification of Italy. The Alpine Club volunteers help him with the heavier work and to mount the characters.
As you will see from the photos and video it’s not just an ordinary Nativity scene and having it seen it for real I can say it is truly spectacular, in a stunning setting, amongst the vineyards overlooking the sea.
This beautiful artistic creation is eco-sustainable not only because of the materials used but also as it is now powered by solar energy.
A masterpiece by an incredibly humble local artist. The Nativity Scene remains lit until the end January just in case any of you are over this way!
Wishing you all a Merry Xmas and a Happy, Healthy and Wonderful 2015!
I’m off to Tunisia on an 8 day Trekking holiday ( not all trekking)……and where will you all be celebrating? Drop me a line here.