Vatican to host Christmas crib exhibition in St Peter’s Square

100 Presepi moves to colonnade of Piazza S. Pietro.

The 2020 edition of 100 Presepi, Rome’s international Nativity crib exhibition, will be held under St Peter’s Square’s colonnade from 13 December until 10 January 2021.

The popular event, which should have been hosted in a Vatican building on nearby Via della Conciliazione, moves outdoors this year due to the covid-19 crisis.

A firm fixture on Rome’s Christmas calendar, 100 Presepi hosts some Nativity scenes from across Italy and dozens of other countries each year.

In addition to contemporary replicas of traditional 18th-century Neapolitan and Sicilian cribs and 19th-century Roman mangers, modern versions are made from wood, paper-mâché, and terracotta, as well as unconventional materials such as sand, rice, and metal.

The move to St Peter’s, taken “to comply with the health regulations currently in force,” will result in an “inevitable reduction in the number of exhibits,” say organizers.

In its 45th year, 100 Presepi was established in Rome in 1976 and took place in Piazza del Popolo until three years ago.

Today it is organized by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation.