After meeting Paola and Marcello, we examined all the places Paola had recommended we visit. The first one she recommended was the town of Marcellano. Marcellano is a 12th century medieval town that was occupied by one of Napoleons generals when Napoleon was king of Italy. It was less than a 30-minute drive from the house and each year on three Sundays surrounding Christmas, they do a live Nativity.
Back when we went to Mass at St Cornelius, the four churches on Wardlow Rd. came together and put on a Christmas pageant called Portraits of the Prince of Peace. Painted scenes with people dressed in period clothes, live animals, all leading to the Nativity scene with Mary and Joseph, the baby Jesus and a few sheep and goats. We chaired the Pageant and worked very hard to make it successful. I even played Joseph as we had a participant drop out at the last minute.
|Chris with a Roman Guard and his prisoner.|
This live Nativity, however, was spectacular in its presentation. As you entered the town, census was taken at the church. People signed in with their name and the town they traveled from to come to Marcellano. I signed us in as Chris & Tom, California, USA. Which got a smile from the census taker. Then the town’s people opened up areas and demonstrated life during the time of Joseph and Mary’s arrival into Bethlehem. There were blacksmiths, jewelers, weavers making blankets, wood carvers making posts, stonecutters, and farmers with wheat grinders making flour using a water wheel to grind the wheat. Vendors selling vegetables, cheese, honey, bread and mulled wine all dressed in period costumes. Then, at 5:30, Joseph and Mary traveled through the town only to be rejected at every stop. Finally, traveling with their mule, they came to a small stable just outside the city. Shepherds’ visited the stall, then a star traveling from the church steeple to the stable lead the three Wise Men on horseback to the manger scene. This all taking place while a light snow dusted the town. Young Italians may not be very religious, but they put on a great live Nativity.
It showcased a great sense of community and we very much felt a part of this community. It was another example of why, even with the BS we have been through, we came to Italy. It’s all part of the adventure.
|Vendors selling their goods.|
|A stone wheel grinding wheat to make flour.|
|Mary and Joseph|
|With our Mulled Wine.|
|The Manger Scene just right of center. Fires lit by the Shepherds.|
|A 12th Century Door.|