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DW: Naples – Nativity Scenes of Naples – Jesus, Maria and Pulcinella


No self-respecting Neapolitan would surely hesitate to spend their last cent on one of Marco Ferrigno’s figurines – be it a smiling Baby Jesus in a crib, a glowing Madonna in a silk dress or one of his many other creations. The “presepe”, as the people of Naples call their nativity scenes, are as much a part of the city as pizza and amore. During Advent, the Via San Gregoria Armeno in Naples’ old city is especially crowded. The famous cobbled street is the go-to place for nativity figurines. It’s a mecca not only for tourists but also for locals, for whom the “presepe” is a must at Christmas. Marco Ferrigno is the unofficial king of the nativity-scene makers in Naples. In the run-up to Christmas his store is always overflowing. Customers almost beat down the door to get their hands on one of his nativity scenes. As you would expect, his figurines include Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the Three Wise Men. But his top sellers are characters from the world of film, television and football, ranging from Diego Maradona to Sophia Loren, Pavarotti – and Pulcinella. The masked theater puppet is the traditional emblem of Naples. Filmmaker Uri Schneider joins artist Marco Ferrigno and his team in these last frenetic days before Christmas.

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