Nativity scenes, or presepe, are very popular in Italy. Many homes would have one in pride of place at Christmas time.
The tradition started with St Francis of Assisi in 1223 with a live scene. From 1700 presepe became an art form when the aristocracy began to adorn their homes with elaborate nativity scenes.
Via San Grigorio Armeno in Naples has become known as Presepe Street. There are workshops where the presepe are made and dozens of shops showing off their wares. I saw thousands of incredibly detailed presepe when I was there.
As well as the stable with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in the manger, nativity scenes can grow to include village scenes. Some extended presepe would need a whole room to themselves.
An empty village waiting to be decorated.
Here is one with people.
There is no end to the variety of things you can add to your presepe.
Some are mechanised to make them even more interesting.
You can keep an eye on Mary keeping an eye on her baby.
There was a tiny museum as part of Naples underground featuring old presepe.
As well as the more traditional figures to add to your scene more modern figurines are available. You may wish to include Silvio Berlusconi or Amy Winehouse or a whole football team.
People love to visit the presepe area in Naples all year, but at Christmas it becomes crowded with those looking for the perfect addition to their nativity scene.
It would be fun to be there among the Christmas lights watching the tiny scenes eagerly trying to appeal to someone and be taken home to be adored.