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Christmas arrives when the Manarola nativity scene is lit.

Christmas in the Cinque Terre arrives when the magnificent Manarola Nativity scene is lit. The representation of the nativity on the dry stone wall terraces of the village of Manarola, now known throughout the world, is made with silhouettes of farmers and shepherds with recyclable materials, illuminated by 17,000 colored light bulbs and 7 km of electric cable. The great work of poor art occupies the entire hill overlooking the village, covered with vineyards up to its top, where the hut with the comet is located.

The Manarola nativity scene 2023, the first without its creator

The spectacular illumination occurs on Thursday 8 December 2023; as usual, many people arrive in Manarola to watch the exciting nativity scene show, which comes to life as evening falls in the unique scenery of the Cinque Terre with the switching on of thousands of lights and fireworks. From 8 December until the last days of January 2024 (the closing date is not yet defined), the Nativity scene will be lit every evening at dusk, around 5.30pm. The scenographic effect between the colors of the sunset on the Cinque Terre coast and the mountain that lights up is guaranteed.

The work for the lighting of the 2023 Manarola Nativity scene continues.

The nativity scene has been designed and created every year since 1962. It was conceived by Mario Andreoli, a retired railway worker from Manarola, who has followed its design and construction every year.
It all started when Mario’s father was dying and asked him to restore a cross on the family hill. O Once Mario fixed the cross, he imagined lighting it with a car battery. The idea of bringing the town together around a small but significant undertaking, a large nativity scene built on the town’s hill was born from this small light. Today in Manarola everyone works on the construction of the nativity scene, contributing to its beauty.

In 2007 the display achieved the Guinness World Record as the largest nativity scene in the world.

Mario left us at the age of 94 a few days after turning on the light bulbs of the 2022 Nativity scene, which celebrated the 60th anniversary of the gigantic work of art. Today it is the local association created to give continuity and support the Manarola Nativity scene that takes care of the project.