The Monumental Nativity Scene in Soriano Calabro

By Francesco Tirinato - JUMP Team (Italy)

We are in the small town of Soriano Calabro (in the province of Vibo Valentia), which between the 15th and 18th centuries was an important centre of culture thanks to the presence of a large Dominican convent completed in 1510.

Here, at Christmas time, many believers and visitors from all over Calabria can admire the Monumental Nativity Scene of the Dominican Convent.

Thanks to the charm of this stupendous work of art, you can immerse yourself in an environment that recreates an archaic world that has been completely lost.

In this Nativity Scene, the scenes evoke stories and past memories of a region like ours that is strongly linked to the world of agro-pastoral traditions of ancient times: arts and crafts that over the centuries have characterised the mystery of the Nativity.

All the characters, made on a human scale and arranged in the various corners of the Convent, together with numerous tools (carefully researched), make the scenes more realistic and, among other things, represent what we can ideally call a small museum of Calabrian rural art.
The succession of atmospheres is also highly suggestive. Thanks to well thought-out lighting effects, the various phases of the day are outlined in an almost natural way.

“The work certainly has the pedagogical purpose of reminding everyone that Christmas is the feast of brotherhood, and the Nativity Scene is perhaps the first example of a multi-ethnic society bringing together men and cultures scattered over the earth under one sky”.

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