In a quiet suburb of San Vito al Tagliamento, Italy, there is a man who has built a life-size Nativity Scene in his huge courtyard. That place is open to the public until January 2014. Hence, when the word of mouth was spreading in town, I decided to visit it.
What a surprise! The Nativity Scene is pull alongside northern typical farmer's realities, and I believe that is very impressive as it brings people back to their simple roots and it reminds us the humble backgrounds we are coming from.
There are lots of areas in which real-alike people and animals are doing farmers and ordinary jobs: washing clothes, harvesting and picking fruits, fishing, weaving, cooking traditional northern foods -such as polenta on the old cast ironed stove -, taking care of the farm and making wine.
The structure of each figure has been made with iron and then, on top of it, the body was moulded and covered firstly with the foam in use to the bricklayers, then with a paste used by body shop mechanics, eventually painted.
Wigs, furniture and few animals, such as the geese in the hay bales, were bought previously from antique and flea markets. All the huts, the detailed bunnies and piggies in the fenced areas, as well as the winter vegetables, cheeses and the cured meats in the pantry and the used clothes, were coming from the fields around, or they had been carefully hand-made, or they had just been found again in the grandparents' basement, as for the beautiful and rich in memories -for us, old children - wine press machine.
I would like to highlight the delicate manoeuvring of the artist in describing also the human aspect of these "giant puppets".
Indeed, one can see the nostalgic and a bit worried expression in a wine-maker gaze, while he finds comfort in smoking his cigar. Thus, we are experiencing also another side of these plastered models, which encompasses people and workers' souls and their emotional characteristics.
Regarding the mere Nativity Scene, there is essentially everything, except the Magi, but I am sure here they would be out of context. A friendly and vigorous shepherd is watching us, as to recommend to keep quiet, in order to not disturb the Sacred Family. Around, the little sheep are playing together and smiling, they are quite happy!