Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Tuesday 05 December |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Bartholomew Fanti
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

This Italian town has the world’s largest illuminated Nativity scene

This article is reserved for Aleteia Premium members
Pesebre iluminado de Manarola en Italia

Shutterstock/Matteo Andrei

Maria Paola Daud - published on 12/23/22

Residents and neighbors are committed to taking care of this beautiful initiative.

In the town of Manarola, on the western coast of northern Italy in the heart of the Cinque Terre National Park in Liguria, the world’s largest Nativity scene was lit with Christmas lights this past December 8, continuing a local tradition.

The Manarola Nativity scene, which lights up the entire village for about a month, was created by Mario Andreoli, a now-retired railroad employee.

Andreoli began this arduous work in 1961 when, cleaning out his workshop, he decided to recycle unused materials by building a huge Nativity scene, instead of throwing the scraps away.

What we see today is the result of 61 years of painstaking and passionate work: a Nativity scene with more than 300 life-size figures illuminated by more than 1,700 light bulbs.

After the start of the coronavirus pandemic, statues representing doctors and nurses were also added.

The wonderful “postcard” attracts thousands of tourists to a land already famous for its natural beauty.

Ecologically friendly

The Manarola Nativity scene was officially inaugurated in 2007, and that same year it entered the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest illuminated Nativity scene.

The following year, the spectacle went “green” because a photovoltaic system was specially built to generate the electricity needed for the illumination to be self-sufficient.

Manarola Nativity Association

A few years ago, the Manarola Mario Andreoli Nativity Association was established to help Andreoli since, due to age and health problems, he has some difficulty in continuing to carry out his project. These association members make sure the meaningful tradition continues for all the people in the area, and those who visit.

The following is reserved for Aleteia Premium members

Already a member?

Free! - Without any commitment
You can cancel anytime

Discover all of these benefits:

Aucun engagement : vous pouvez résilier à tout moment


Unlimited access to all new Premium content from Aleteia


Unlimited access to new Premium content from our partners: Our Sunday Visitor and the Dominican friars.


Exclusive access to our prestigious international press review


Limited advertising


Exclusive access to publish comments


Access to our network of hundreds of monasteries that will pray for your intentions

Support media that promotes Christian values
Support media that promotes Christian values
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.