Maranola is a small medieval village overlooking the town of Formia on the South Lazio coast. Each Christmas-time the village puts on a wonderful “Living Nativity” known as the “Presepe Vivente“. Many of the local people take part in this project, and ground floor rooms and cellars undergo a transformation. Here living scenes are created depicting the every day life of days gone by. Some re-enact former occupations, ancient skills and crafts.
Many of the townsfolk are dressed in the traditional costmes of the ancient region of Ciociaria. This area takes its name from the word “ciocie“, which is an ancient form of footware, thought to date back to Etruscan times. It was a type of sandal, with a curiously curved toe, that was bound to the calf with leather laces. It was typically worn by the local shepherds and peasants of the area.
There are also scenes depicting the preparation of typical local produce.
Over the festive Christmas period Maranola has three editions of this event. These are normally held on the 26th December, New Years Day and on the day of the Epiphany, the 6th January. Last year we attended the last event.
The sound of the pipes of the zampognieri heralded the arrival of the Three Kings bearing their gifts.
They all made their way to the stable when the charming Nativity scene was taking place. A local couple with a young baby played the roles of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus.
We really are hoping to visit Maranola again this Christmas. This is a very special local event – not to be missed.
Well may we take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and Peace and Goodwill to all.
We also wish you all the very best in the coming New Year.
Love from us all at Tre Cancelle
Louie and Paul, the Tre Cancelle “Woof-gang” and our growing menagerie
All photos by me © Louise Shapcott