Sorrento is a beautiful town perched on a cliff high above the sea with views of Vesuvius and the islands in the Bay of Naples . Use this website to help you plan a visit to this elegant southern Italian resort and find your way to the best beaches and some lovely villages and towns along the Sorrentine peninsula that are perhaps less well known to tourists.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Visit Naples to see street of the 'presepio'

A classic Italian presepio with Neopolitan figures 
During December churches in Sorrento have had their presepio (nativity scene) on display.
The tradition of recreating the birth of Jesus with a presepio (which literally means crib) dates back to the 13th century in Italy.  Many Italian families also have one in their home and you will see shops selling complete stable scenes, or the figures to make your own, in the weeks around Christmas.
An easy trip to make from Sorrento at any time of the year is to Naples, one of the most famous places for production of figures for the presepio. An entire street in the centro storico, Via San Gregorio Armeno, is lined with shops that sell figures and props for the presepio all year round.
Producers have now even branched out into making figures of celebrities, sportsmen and politicians to place in the presepio along with the traditional characters. So don’t be surprised if you see a Barack Obama or a Silvio Berlusconi among the shepherds.
You can travel to Naples from Sorrento either by train, which takes just over an hour, or take a 30-minute hydrofoil ride from the port in Sorrento. Via San Gregorio Armeno can be reached easily on foot from either the station or the port in Naples.
Language point
Presepio or presepe
You will see the words presepio and presepe used to refer to a nativity scene in Italy. The words literally mean ‘crib’.


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