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Tradion of handmade nativity scenes
For many, many years entire families are making nativity scenes of all types and sizes, giving it original touch of Naples tradition. It's really worth seeing it and it's also nice oportunity to buy many of typical Naples' souvenirs.
- Arts and Culture
la Chiesa di San Gregorio Armeno
Part of the complex of San Gregorio Armeno (see previous tip), the namesake church was rebuilt with the complex in 1572. It was the work of the two architects, Giovanni Vincenzo Della Monica and Giovan Battista Cavagna, but the interior received further renovations in the 17th century by the architect Dionisio Lazzari. A Renaissance style façade with a Baroque portico leads into one of the most richly decorated interiors in Napoli. It is seen by some as barocco napoletano gone over the top, while others find as one of the finest examples. You be the judge.
Complesso di San Gregorio Armeno
Thought to occupy the site of the Roman Temple of Ceres and an early Christian church built by Empress Helena (mother of Constantine the Great), the monastic complex of San Gregorio Armeno traces its roots back to the 8th century AD. It is said that a group of Basilian sisters, carrying the relics of Saint Gregory, settled in Naples from Constantinople to escape persecution. They founded a convent dedicated to the saint, which was united with two other monasteries in 13th century and collectively became il Complesso di San Gregorio Armeno. In the 16th century, the complex was rebuilt entirely, but it underwent further expansions and renovations in subsequent centuries (see next tip for the church itself). One interesting feature in the complex is the campanile (bell tower), which was built over the street and contains a passage between the main complex and an annex across the street (see attached photos). The cloister is reached via a grand staircase whose walls are painted with amazing frescoes. From the cloister, two intriguing chapels are accessed.
- Historical Travel
San Gregorio Armeno
S. Gregorio Armeno lane, connects "Spaccanapoli" with "Tribunali" street. In this place are concentrated the artisans of Neapolitan crib. Every Christmas this lane becomes a place of pilgrimage for locals and tourists, transforming itselves into a kermesse of lights and colours. S. Gregorio Armeno, with its shops and its stalls , is the place of the Neapolitan Christmas, the obligatory destination of a sentimental walk to the search of a new piece to put on the crib. S. Gregorio Armeno is the crossroad of the Christmas wonder. Also, many young people have discovered the ancient art. The techniques are those of old times. The crib continues to be an infallible judge of the affection of the Neapolitans: only who is very beloved (singers, actors or politicians), can appear close to holy family. The last years had appeared in the showcases and on the stalls the figurines of Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Lady Diana, even of the stylist Versace; nothing scandalous, because the crib tolerates everything. The famous street S. Gregorio Armeno takes its name from the homonymous monasterial complex. Here it is the centre of production and sale of the christmas figures. The little street is rich on both sides of shops/laboratories that invade the road with stalls and various exhibitions. You can find everything: from the " Rocks" –rock is in the Neapolitan lexican of the cribs the structure of the caves, the landscape- in bark, of cork to the motor for the "Rivers" and the fountains; from the lamp with battery; from the balcony in metal to the fruit in wax; from the minuscule shepherd to the shepherd dressed in the 18th style of half million and more… a true heaven for the crib makers.
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Via San Gregorio Armeno
This road is famous worldwide as the "nativity scene road”. In this road, which links the old city center to the main roads, there are some important monuments such as the San Gregorio Armeno Monastery. This is also the city center for hundreds of artists’ and commercial businesses: sculptors, silversmiths, gilders, and many craftsmen that make figurines for nativity scenes, and who still use traditional methods.
- Family Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
The Christmas Nativity Scene Stores and Displays
You can purchase a unique "one of a kind" nativty scene in Naples. This I can insure you, and you will have something very few people outside Naples have. These are quite common in Napoli, but I have yet to se any quite like this anywhere else. The place to look is in Centro Storico, and they actually sell them year round.
- Family Travel
Don't miss a visit to the pasta shop, it will be joyfull for your eyes before and for your stomach later.
Here you will find tons of different kinds of pasta in many many different forms.
- Food and Dining
San Gregorio Armeno
The church and street of San Gregorio Armeno are also worth a visit, this church was also built on the site of a temple
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