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Cardiffian honours Italian family tradition by installing giant 3D nativity scene in her front room

23 Dec 2020 2 minute read
Stefania Benincasa’s nativity scene

Stefania Benincasa, of Roath in Cardiff, has honoured a family tradition by installing a giant-sized 3D nativity scene on the wall of her living room.

In her native Italy, the Nativity scene does not just consist of Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the Three Wise Men. A whole village is created around the manger.


Stefania’s village scene is nestled on a mountainside featuring the whole community.  From fishermen and market stalls to taverns, a pizzeria, women at work, children and animals – there is even a waterfall and pool with running water.

“The presepe was popularised in the 13th century by St Francis of Assisi, using live animals and real people for his nativity scenes,” she said.

“Since then the tradition spread throughout all of Italy, but the Neapolitans believe that they do it best!”

Stefania Benincasa’s nativity scene

Stefania said that her hope was to bring joy to the Italian expatriate community in Wales and those who cannot get home to Italy this Christmas because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Stefania Benincasa’s nativity scene

She added that daughter said she should have spaced the figures out or given them all masks.

“It’s true the presepe villagers are not following Covid regulations but then they’ve been in isolation in the attic for 12 months and not considered a risk!” she said.

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