The cribs of Acireale
1 December 2018 Daniela Moscato

01 December / 06 January – Acireale (CT)

Christmas in Acireale in the historic center Christmas and traditional Christmas markets “Cribs Itinerary”. Church of the Madonna della Neve exhibit crib of ancient work dating back to 1700. ADOREMUS DOMINUM is the educational tour of the art cribs of Acireale, born from the collaboration between the most important cultural realities, related to the nativity scene, present in the city. The itinerary includes the eighteenth-century Nativity scene, made in the church of Santa Maria della Neve, the Paperpesta Nativity in the church of San Rocco, the Monumentale Presepe Napoletano and the Exhibition of Artistic Cribs, both set up in the monumental complex of the Collegiate Basilica of San Sebastiano.

Within the sites, visitors will be accompanied by qualified personnel who will provide all the information necessary to understand the cultural context in which the artistic nativity scenes were created, and the construction techniques. The nativity scenes, in fact, are an example of popular culture. They represent, artistically, the Christmas sentiment of the local communities, which is expressed also through traditional songs and popular sayings. The itinerary can be integrated by a visit to the Sicilian Puppet Museum and to the Collection of Historical Uniforms. ADOREMUS DOMINUM offers, therefore, the possibility to rediscover the Sicilian cultural identity, through a unique and extraordinary experience.

18th Century Nativity Scene Church of S. Maria della Neve
On the road that connects Acireale with the hamlets to the sea, there is the characteristic Church of Santa Maria della Neve better known as “A Rutta”, the cave. The church is carved out of the rock and dates back to the mid-eighteenth century. The priest Mariano Valerio decided to set up a life-size nativity scene. He modeled the beautiful wax faces of the characters that make up the tradition of the nativity scene from local artisans. He commissioned the splendid finely decorated clothes and completed the scene with characteristic objects of the Sicilian tradition. The approximately thirty characters have been recently restored with careful and meticulous work and are accessible to the public. In addition to the typical characters of the nativity, with the Madonna in the original pose of holding the baby in her arms, we note the presence of typical characters of the Acese crib: “Innaru” (which warms up in front of the fire) and “u meravighatu da stidda” (which remains entranced by the passage of the comet). In 1752 the cave was consecrated and, therefore, a few years later enlarged and completed with a worthy exterior elevation bearing the statues of the nativity. Inside there is a themed altarpiece by Vito D’Anna. The church is managed by the parish of Santa Maria degli Angeli and the visit to the crib is organized by the association “Il pellicano”. Only one evocative Mass on Christmas Eve is officiated.
Further information: Tel. 347.4007030 –

The Star of Bethlehem | Convent of San Rocco – 1 December 2018/6 January 2019
The second stage of the itinerary inevitably leads to the Convent of San Rocco, where the premises of the “Star of Bethlehem” Cribs Festival take place.
Further information: – ​​

Nativity of the Oratory | Church PP. Filipinos
Do not miss the Crib set up at the Oratorio dei Padri Filippini, in via Arcangelo Raffaele (next to the Basilica of San Sebastiano). The work, created by the young people of the oratory, usually covers a large exhibition space and often proposes realistic and living elements (artificial lake, real animals …) that fill the eyes of children with enthusiasm and bring back the taste of past childhood even in adults that accompany them.