The nativity scene is such a cherished tradition in Naples that it is possible to buy its components or visit exhibitions on the nativity scene throughout the year.
How can one understand which nativity scenes in Naples respect all traditions? What are the most deeply rooted customs in composing the nativity scene? The answers can be found by visiting the most important nativity scene collections in Naples.
Nativity scene collections
- The nativity scene collection at the Royal Palace
Inside the palatine chapel of the Royal Palace of Naples is a small but impressive collection of Neapolitan nativity figures from the 1700s. The nativity scene consists of more than 200 figures, many made by some of the city’s most talented sculptors at the time. To see this collection, visit the Royal Palace in Piazza del Plebiscito 1.
- Nativity scenes in San Lorenzo Maggiore
The church of San Lorenzo Maggiore is located at the end of Via San Gregorio Armeno, the street known for its nativity scene artisans. Not everyone knows that inside the church of San Lorenzo Maggiore, on the top floor, you can admire a collection of traditional Neapolitan cribs made in this very church in the 18th century. The peculiarity of this collection of cribs is that they are all made of polychrome wood and terracotta. The church of San Lorenzo Maggiore is in Piazza San Gaetano 316.
- Santa Chiara Monastery
The Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara also houses a historic and important collection of Neapolitan nativity scenes. This is located in a room outside the cloister of the medieval convent. To visit it, go at via Santa Chiara 49/c.
- Crib collection at the National Museum of San Martino
The Museo Nazionale di San Martino, in Largo di San Martino 5, houses a collection of Neapolitan cribs, some of which are also specially illuminated. The collection is housed in the former kitchens of the monastery. From this spot, you can also enjoy a unique view of the Naples skyline.