If at home this is the right weekend to prepare the Christmas tree, in many Ligurian villages the nativity scenes are lit, living and not.
The most famous is certainly the one by Mario Andreoli in Manarola, with its silhouettes up the hill planted with vineyards and will be inaugurated illuminating the night with spectacular fireworks Sunday 8 December, and then every night until late January.
Being present for the first lighting, in the Cinque Terre village is really exciting, both for those who see it for the first time and for the many people who work hard throughout the year to create the beautiful figures in recycled material that draw the nativity on the hill!
But another Nativity scene has now been animating the Christmas in La Spezia for three years, certainly destined to become a beloved tradition: in the village of Vezzano Ligure.
The village of Vezzano Ligure is one of the oldest in the Lunigiana, built on a hill that overlooks the view of the Magra and Vara rivers and their valleys. A fundamental crossroads at all times for controlling the trade routes between the Gulf of La Spezia and the hinterland, Vezzano Ligure is full of magnificent historical and artistic treasures that are truly important throughout the territory, such as the Ospitale di San Nicola and Palazzo Giustiniani in Lower Vezzano.
But even the most distracted passer-by who has no way of visiting the small town, perhaps locked in a car that crosses the valley below, cannot but be struck by the glance offered by the characteristic village silhouetted against the panorama of the Apennines and dominating the whole valley from the top of its hill, with the pentagonal tower to make an unmistakable reference even from far away.
The “Nativity under the Tower” that tells the town
But this weekend there is a good reason to stop in Vezzano, let the sight of the Tower guide you and the magic that you breathe in the “Carobi” – the typical narrow streets, under the stone vaults of the village, up to the Arch of San Giorgio and then on, right at the foot of the Tower. Along the entire route the cellars open to show the ancient crafts, characteristic of these places, and to animate a fervent story of the town.
It is the “Living Nativity under the Tower” that from the dim lights in the “Borgo Basso” recalls with an unmistakable Christmas atmosphere emphasized by the sound of bagpipes and the presence of craft markets. With this passionate animation, Vezzano chooses to welcome the Child Jesus in its “cradle”, in the streets that for those preparing this laborious representation are more than an ancient succession of stories, but they constitute the very identity of those who live there every day.
Il programma del Presepe vivente di Vezzano Ligure
4pm: Opening of the Christmas Market with local crafts and refreshment points with typical products by the Proloco
Next, start of the Living Nativity
18.00: Concert by the “Cardarelli Wind Ensamble” Orchestra of the Cardarelli Music High School in the Church of Santa Maria Assunta
11am: Opening of the Christmas hamlet
12 noon: Opening of refreshment points
2pm: Concert by the Gospel group “Coro Pressapoco Gospel”
3.00 pm: Beginning of the Living Crib