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San Gregorio Armeno Street

The street of nativity scenes in Naples

Via San Gregorio Armeno, in Naples, is the "Via dei Presepi" (Street of nativity scenes), one of the most visited tourist destinations in the city. Here, in the historic artisan workshops, the "shepherds", the figurines of the various characters that will make up the nativity scene, are produced and sold. Walking along Via San Gregorio Armeno is a unique and engaging experience: a whirlwind of colours, sounds and people walking along the narrow street looking for the figurine to buy, or just to see this living theatre.

Below we have taken some descriptive texts of Via San Gregorio Armeno from websites dedicated to tourism in Naples, with links to the respective sites.

From Campania Info - www.campania.info

Located in the heart of Naples between Via dei Tribunali and the famous Spaccanapoli, San Gregorio Armeno - also known as Via San Liguoro or Strada Nostriana - is one of the most famous streets of the Neapolitan city. Walking through San Gregorio Armeno is a must during Christmas in Naples: here you can feel the Christmas atmosphere at any time of the year given the numerous shops where there are nativity scene masters who hand-make statuettes that reproduce the protagonists of the Neapolitan nativity scene. A truly ancient tradition that has managed to remain alive over the years thanks also to the passion of many artisans who have adapted to the times and not only reproduce characters from the classic Nativity but also statuettes portraying politicians, sportsmen and famous people of current affairs.

From Wikipedia - it.wikipedia.org

The nativity scene tradition of San Gregorio Armeno has a remote origin: in the street in classical times there was a temple dedicated to Ceres, to whom citizens offered small terracotta figurines, made in nearby workshops, as votive offerings.[1] The birth of the Neapolitan nativity scene is naturally much later and dates back to the end of the eighteenth century.

Today Via San Gregorio Armeno is known throughout the world as the exhibition center of the artisan workshops located here which now make figurines for nativity scenes all year round, both canonical and original (usually every year the most eccentric craftsmen create figurines with the features of characters of pressing relevance which perhaps stood out positively or negatively during the year).

The actual exhibitions begin in the period around the Christmas holidays, usually from the beginning of November to January 6th

From Napoli da vivere - www.napolidavivere.it

Via San Gregorio Armeno in Naples is not only the home of nativity scene art but is also a street rich in history, masterpieces and mysteries. Via San Gregorio Armeno is a street in the historic center of Naples, a UNESCO heritage site, which is famous throughout the world for its artisan workshops producing nativity scenes and shepherds. Hundreds of thousands of people come to Naples every year during the Christmas period to visit this famous street where you can breathe a unique Christmas atmosphere in the world.

But San Gregorio Armeno is also one of the ancient streets of Naples where the Greek city and then the Roman one developed. The area is that of the ancient Roman Forum and is full of monuments that are absolutely worth visiting.

In the subsoil of via San Gregorio Armeno and the church of San Lorenzo Maggiore, there is a real buried city and the ancient road was a great key road of Naples, that is, the connection between the decumanus major, today's via Tribunali,  and the lower one, today's Spaccanapoli, the ancient city streets of Greek origin.

From Italia.it - www.italia.it

The street of nativity scenes, among the most beautiful in the center of Naples. Not just the street of nativity scenes, San Gregorio Armeno is the heart of Naples and its traditions, one of the most characteristic alleys. It was once a Roman road where the Temple of the Goddess Ceres, divinity of fertility, was located, and to honor her the faithful brought small terracotta statues. The first artisan workshops were born here, but the tradition of artisan figurines for the nativity scene was born only around the eighteenth century.

In this alley it is always Christmas thanks to the shops, open all year round, where figurines of Nativity characters are sold to be placed on the nativity scene together with those of politicians, actors and well-known personalities.

In addition to the work of the artisans, in the neighborhood it is possible to visit the Monastery of San Gregorio Armeno, with its beautiful cloister, the marble fountain in the center with Baroque-style decorations and an ancient well. Inside, the coffered ceiling created by the painter Teodoro d'Errico and the frescoes by Luca Giordano such as "The Glory of San Gregorio".

Via San Gregorio Armeno