It is almost Christmas and the world is already in a festive mood. New York with its elegant tree at Rockefeller Center, London with its immense decorations, Germany with its traditional Christmas markets and fairytale ambiance ..
In the south of Europe, more famous for its Mediterranean character and summery days, Christmas traditions are not lacking either. This time we are visiting Campania, in the south of Italy, where festivities never go unnoticed.
Salerno is a city of about 135,000 residents with a mission to light up that part of the world for Christmas. It is home to a spectacular event, “Luci d’Artista”, that lasts from November until mid January, when the city is illuminated and simply radiates a magical ambiance, frozen in time. The event revolves around four main themes: the Myth, Dream, Time and Christmas. The event has its roots in Turin from the late ‘90s and has since spread to Salerno, creating a partnership between the two cities.
The creations of pure fantasy, enchanted gardens, fairy tales and scents of the East in the streets and corners of Salerno are all works by contemporary artists and boast immense scenic value and striking symbolism. The Aurora Borealis in Corso Vittorio Emanuele is one of the most beautiful exhibitions this year. One of most impressive natural spectacles in the world has been recreated with a play of light that follows you along the shopping street. This wondrous light show is the best way to immerse yourself in the spirit of Christmas and get completely carried away by its magic.
A few miles away, the Christmas Nativity tradition of San Gregorio Armeno overwhelms the residents and visitors of Naples. In ancient times, it was a temple dedicated to Ceres, goddess of the earth, fertility and birth in Roman mythology. It is said that the people used to offer small clay figurines as a sign of devotion to the goddess. The birth of the Neapolitan crib tradition itself dates back to 1400, but only spread towards the end of 1700, coming from churches and entering the homes of the aristocracy.
A walk along the street of the nativity is a must for every Neapolitan family. Countless artisans’ workshops, which can be visited throughout the year, always put you right in the Christmas atmosphere. Craftsmen of San Gregorio Armeno are famous and unique in the world for a reason: they have specialized in the manufacture of small parts and eccentric terracotta shepherds. Celebrities, entertainers and politicians will have their own miniature figurines at the many stalls, perhaps with some ironically accentuated characteristics. In the historical centre, San Gregorio Armeno is an easy walk from Piazza Dante. Our advice is to rent a car in Naples, where there is a wide choice of vehicles, and from there you can reach Salerno in about 50 minutes. If you need help with your reservation please contact us on our toll free number 0800 368 1229.