Kentucky Man Snaps Photos of an Amazing Nativity Scene Made Out of Pizza
This time of year, there are nativity scenes all over Italy. The one above is inside St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. As you can tell, it's quite detailed and, well, exquisite. Naturally, one would assume that the nativity at Vatican City is going to top all of them. And, I'll admit, the one outside in St. Peter's Square is a site to behold as well. It's gorgeous and nearly to human scale.
But, in Italy, it seems EVERYONE gets in on the action and the motto is definitely "The bigger, the better."
If you walk into (or near) any church, in Rome, Pisa, Naples, Florence, etc., you are going to encounter a nativity. And trust me on this. It will be one of the biggest and most elaborate things you have ever seen in your life. Here's a snapshot of a nativity I saw on display at Rome's popular annual Christmas Market at Piazza Navona.
As you can see, it isn't constructed at quite the scale as the ones at the Vatican, but it's still pretty ambitious. There's a lot going on here.
Let's be honest. Here in the U.S., nativity scenes are pretty mild in comparison. I mean, they tend to center around the usual suspects, right? You have Mary, Joseph, a manger, a baby Jesus, the three wise men, maybe a donkey or two and that's about it. But in Italy, nativity scenes are a very crowded affair.
As I shared with my Facebook friends during my two-week trip over the holidays:
For your nativity scene to get noticed and photographed by tourists, you have to go big or go home. Forget “No room at the inn.” You have to turn that manger into a Nissan Stadium for Jesus. In addition to the requisite cast of characters, you have to throw in some cousins, a butcher, some bakers, a candlestick maker, some Paw Patrol, Polly Pockets, a couple of Barbies, some figurines of The Jeffersons, and maybe even a collectible NKOTB doll. You have to load up your nativity with everything you can find.
Well, during my trip, I found the nativity scene that, for me, topped them all. My mom and I took a day trip to Naples and, while there, ventured into the outer limits of the Spanish Quarter. And there, we stumbled across a nativity in the most unusual and unexpected of places. Yep! We found a nativity scene here!
And I will hand it to Pizzeria & Trattoria '900, they careered the originality points. They built their manger out of pizza dough and other pizza ingredients.
While the photo doesn't really bring this whole thing to life, I took some video that does. Believe it or not, their nativity had a water feature in it- complete with running water.
I must say. I realize this probably isn't everyone's cup of tea. However, I found it wildly imaginative, a clever use of branding, remarkably well-constructed, wonderfully strange and a true feast for the eyes to behold. It’s as if “The Greatest Story Ever Told” became the conjoined twin of Papa John or Chef Boyardee. It’s incredible really. A master work of patience, faith and dough.