L’Umbria è una delle regioni italiane dalla tradizione storica, folkloristica, religiosa ed artistica più antica ed importante. Non fa eccezione una delle festività più importanti dell’anno, il Natale, celebrato attraverso la rappresentazione del presepe, ideato proprio da San Francesco d’Assisi (Greccio, Rieti, 1223) e simbolo del Cristianesimo.

Tra i tantissimi presepi che vengono messi in scena in questa terra, vi segnaliamo un itinerario che comprende i 5 più caratteristici della Bassa Umbria, che meritano di essere assolutamente visitati se avete intenzione di passare le festività natalizie nel Cuore Verde d’Italia, soggiornando magari in uno degli incantevoli agriturismo dell’Umbria.

Le tappe sono, dal punto di partenza a quello di arrivo, Orvieto, Massa Martana, Cascata delle Marmore, Ferentillo e Cascia. Borghi (e luoghi) bellissimi e suggestivi.

Periodo suggerito per poterli ammirare contemporaneamente: dal 24 Dicembre al 6 Gennaio.

Partenza dalla città della Rupe. Facilmente raggiungibile tramite la E35 – A1, Orvieto non ha certo bisogno di presentazioni. Ebbe il suo massimo splendore durante il Basso Medioevo, grazie alla protezione del Papa. Ma le origini della città sono etrusche. E proprio una costruzione etrusca “riscoperta” nel 1984 da Tersilio Sciarra, il Pozzo della Cava, ospita il Presepe nel Pozzo.
La caratteristica principale, ovviamente, è data dall’ambientazione, unica nel suo genere. La scena della Natività viene realizzata all’interno dell’ultima grande grotta del complesso archeologico, a ben 14 metri di profondità. Animata da tantissimi personaggi meccanici a grandezza naturale, che rendono la rappresentazione ancor più eccezionale. Inoltre l’allestimento, diverso ad ogni edizione, è realizzato da esperti degli effetti speciali teatrali e cinematografici sviluppando temi conduttori in base ad una precisa ricostruzione storica di usi e costumi.
Visitabile tutti i giorni nel periodo natalizio, maggiori informazioni nell’articolo dedicato al Presepe nel Pozzo

>> Scopri i migliori agriturismo ad Orvieto

Presepi d’Italia: Massa Martana. Da Orvieto andremo ora verso Est, senza tornare sull’A1 ma prendendo, in successione, la SS205 (fino a Baschi Scalo) e la SS408. Lungo la strada potrete ammirare, magari fermandovi, il Parco Fluviale del Tevere, area protetta dal WWF fin dal 1990 comprendente al suo interno un tratto del fiume ed il Lago di Corbara. Una volta arrivati all’altezza della Frazione Pontecuti, imboccate la SS79bis. Costeggerete Todi, la città di Jacopone, ricca di monumenti medievali e da sempre esaltata per la sua qualità della vita. Una fermata potrebbe non esser tempo perso…

Continuate a procedere sulla SS79bis/Via Tiberina fino ad arrivare a Massa Martana.
Il bel borgo, circondato dai boschi, ogni anno ospita Presepi d’Italia, rassegna dell’arte presepiale di livello nazionale (tra le più importanti) ma anche internazionale. I lavori (circa 150, non solo scene della Natività, ndr) vengono esposti in 25 botteghe ubicate all’interno delle mura medioevali di Massa Martana.

Tra le grande attrazioni della mostra menzione d’onore per il “Presepe di Ghiaccio”, davvero unico nel suo genere. Il presepe è allestito in una superficie di 15 mq ed è costituito da magnifiche statue scolpite su grandi blocchi di ghiaccio, che sembreranno di cristallo e brilleranno come se fossero illuminate da un milione di luci. È il più bello spettacolo da vedere a Natale!

>>Consulta la lista degli agriturismi di Massa Martana

Il Presepe della Cascata. Lasciamoci alle spalle Massa Martana, direzione Sud, arrivando alla stazione ferroviaria, dove imboccheremo la E45/SS3bis in direzione Terni. “Facili” uscite sono Acquasparta e San Gemini (dove nelle vicinanze troverete l’Area Archeologica di Carsulae, degna di una “visitina”). Arrivate fino alla città di San Valentino, chiamata anche “La Manchester Italiana” vista la presenza delle acciaierie (ed il polo siderurgico costò un pesante bombardamento durante la Seconda Guerra Mondiale, 1943). Per arrivare alla Cascata delle Marmore, 3a tappa del nostro viaggio, avrete due possibilità: imboccare immediatamente la SS209, la Valnerina, e dopo circa 7 km troverete il belvedere inferiore; oppure imboccare la SS79, direzione Marmore, per il belvedere superiore.

Il Presepe Vivente di Marmore è un presepe “giovane”, nato soltanto pochi anni fa dal frutto dell’impegno e della dedizione degli abitanti. Ma sicuramente affascinante: una cornice naturale di incredibile e suggestiva bellezza per una rappresentazione sentita e coinvolgente.
Per informazioni sui giorni e gli orari delle rappresentazioni, consultare il sito: presepedimarmore.it

>>Guarda tutti gli hotel vicino a Terni

Il Presepe Artistico di Ferentillo. Per arrivare a Ferentillo, bassa Valnerina, se nella tappa precedente avete scelto la prima opzione, la SS209, vi basterà proseguire lungo la stessa fino a Ferentillo. Nel secondo caso, tornate indietro fino al bivio di Papigno e scendete lungo alcuni tornanti per incontrare la SS209. Potrebbero interessarvi, nel tragitto, Arrone, inserito tra I Borghi più Belli d’Italia, e Casteldilago. E le numerose possibilità di fare attività outdoor come rafting, canoa ed arrampicata.

Il Presepe Artistico di Ferentillo, ospitato nella Chiesa S. Maria, è conosciuto a livello nazionale e consiste in una rappresentazione multiscenica narrante i passi del Vangelo di Luca, con personaggi curati nei minimi dettagli e particolari scenografici molto caratteristici come, ad esempio, effetti di luce, fumo e movimenti vari. L’opera, che nel 2003 ha vinto la 10a edizione del concorso presepistico nazionale “Praesepium Italie”, indetto dall’Assoc. Amici del Presepio delle Madonie e di Sicilia, è visitabile tutti i giorni, dalle 15:00 alle 19:00 nei festivi e dalle 16:00 alle 18:00 nei giorni feriali (preferibile la prenotazione per quest’ultimi, ndr)

Informazioni nel sito presepeferentillo.it.

… ed infine, la città di S. Rita. Tornate sulla SS209 ed andate verso Nord, direzione Cascia – Norcia. Attraversando la Valnerina passerete accanto a Scheggino, Sant’Anatolia di Narco, Vallo di Nera e Borgo Cerreto. Superata quest’ultima cittadina, abbandonate la SS209 e prendete la SS320, che vi porterà fino a Cascia.

Qui troverete l’annuale e tradizionale Rassegna dei Presepi, esposizione che raccoglie scene della Natività di tutti i tipi e dimensioni tra chiese, cantine e luoghi caratteristici del centro storico del borgo. La rassegna presepiale è organizzata dalla sezione locale del “Mo.i.ca” e dall’associazione “Amici del Presepe Fabio Carbonari”.

>> Visita la sezione dedicata agli agriturismi di Cascia

The Umbria is one of the Italian regions by the oldest and most important historical, folk, religious and art tradition. Is no exception one of the most important holidays of the year, Christmas, celebrated through the representation of the presepe (Christmas crib), conceived by S. Francis (Greccio, Rieti, 1223) and symbol of the Christianity.
Among the many nativity scenes that are staged in this land, we point out an itinerary which includes the 5 most characteristic of the Lower Umbria, that deserve to be absolutely visited if you plan to spend the Christmas holidays in the Green Heart of Italy. Maybe staying in one of the charming farmhouses available.
The stages are, from the point of departure to that of arrival, Orvieto, Massa Martana, Marmore Falls, Ferentillo and Cascia. Borghi (and places) beautiful and evocative.
Recommended period to be able to admire them opened at the same time: from December 24th to January 6th.

Departure from the City of the Rupe. Easily accessible via the E35 – A1, Orvieto needs no introduction. It reached its peak during the late Middle Ages, thanks to the protection of the Pope. But the city’s origins are Etruscan. And precisely an Etruscan construction “rediscovered” in 1984 by Tersilio Sciarra, the Pozzo della Cava, hosts the Presepe nel Pozzo (Crib in the Well).
The main feature, of course, is given by the setting, unique in its kind. The nativity scene is made within the last great cave of the archaeological complex, 14 meters deep. Animated by hundreds of life-size mechanical characters, which makes the performance even more outstanding. In addition the set-up, different each year, is made by experts of the theatrical and film special effects developing leitmotifs on the basis of a precise historical reconstruction of customs and traditions.
Open every day from 09:00 to 20:00. Site: pozzodellacava.it.

Presepi d’Italia – Massa Martana. From Orvieto we go now eastward, without going back on the A1 but taking, in succession, the SS205 (up to Baschi Scalo) and the SS408. Along the way you will see, perhaps stopping, the Parco Fluviale del Tevere (Tiber River Park), a protected area by the WWF since 1990 including an internal stretch of the river and Lake di Corbara. Once you arrive at the Pontecuti hamlet, take the SS79bis. You will flank Todi, the city of Jacopone, rich in medieval monuments and always praised for its quality of life. A stop may not be a waste of time… Keep going on the SS79bis/Via Tiberina road until you reach Massa Martana.
The beautiful village, surrounded by the woods, annually hosts Presepi d’Italia (Christmas Cribs of Italy), a season of the crib art of national level (among the most important) but also internationally. The works (about 150, not only scenes of the Nativity, ed) are presented in 25 shops located inside the medieval walls of Massa Martana.
Among the great attractions of Presepi d’Italia honorable mention for the “Presepe del Perugino“, inspired by the “Adorazione dei Magi” of the divin pittore (divine painter), Pietro Vannucci, with natural size papier-mâché statues, by the master Prof. Francesco Invidia, whose ceremony dresses surprise for the rich folds of the drapery in paper and the red color rule the roost.
Opening hours: every afternoon from 14:30 to 19:30 and, in the days of public holidays, even in the morning from 10:00 to 12:30.

The Crib of the Waterfall. We leave behind Massa Martana, heading south, arriving at the train station, where we taking the E45/SS3bis towards Terni. “Easy” exits are Acquasparta and San Gemini (where nearby you will find the Archaeological Area of Carsulae, worthy of a “short visit”). You arrive until the city of St. Valentine, also called “The Italian Manchester” due to the presence of the steel mills (and the steelworks would cost a heavy bombing during the Second World War, 1943). To get to the Cascata delle Marmore (Marmore Falls), the third step of our journeys, you have two choices: take the SS209 immediately, the Valnerina road, and after about 7 km you will find the lower belvedere (viewpoint); or take the SS79, direction Marmore, for the upper belvedere.
The Presepe Vivente di Marmore (Marmore Living Crib) is a “young” Christmas crib, born only a few years ago by the result of the commitment and dedication of the inhabitants. But surely fascinating: a natural frame of incredible beauty and charming for a cherished and engaging performance.
For information on the days and times of performances, please visit presepedimarmore.it.

The Presepe Artistico di Ferentillo. To get to Ferentillo, lower Valnerina, if in the previous stage you have chosen the first option, the SS209, simply continue along the same road until Ferentillo. In the second case, go back to the junction of Papigno and go down a few hairpin bends until you reach the SS209. You might be interested in, on the way, Arrone, placed between The Most Beatutiful Villages of Italy, and Casteldilago. And the many opportunities to do outdoor activities such as rafting, canoeing and climbing.
The Presepe Artistico di Ferentillo (Ferentillo Artistic Crib), housed in the Church of S. Maria, is nationally known and consists of a multiscenic representation narrating the passages of the Gospel of Luke, characters with great attention to details and very special scenic features such as, for example, lighting effects, smoke and various movements.
The work, which in 2003 won the 10th edition of the National Christmas Crib competition “Praesepium Italie”, is open every day, from 15:00 to 19:00 on weekends and public holidays and 16:00 to 18:00 on weekdays (preferred reservation for the latter, ed.). Site: presepeferentillo.it.

… and finally, the city of St. Rita. Get back on the SS209 and head north in the direction of Cascia – Norcia. Crossing the Valnerina you will pass by Scheggino, Sant’Anatolia di Narco, Vallo di Nera and Borgo Cerreto. Exceeded the latter town, you abandoned the SS209 and take the SS320, which will take you to Cascia.
Here you will find the yearly traditional Rassegna dei Presepi (Festival of the Nativity Scenes), which collects nativity scenes of all types and sizes amongs churches, cellars and characteristic places of the old town centre of the borgo.
The crib exhibition is organized by the local chapter of the “Mo.i.ca” and by the “Amici del Presepe Fabio Carbonari” association, which will also set up, in addition to the already known monumental nativity scene, a Christmas tree and a further artistic crib in front the church of San Francesco in order “to send a good sign of love and peace through the crib”.

Fabrizio Galeazzi

The Umbria is one of the Italian regions by the oldest and most important historical, folk, religious and art tradition. Is no exception one of the most important holidays of the year, Christmas, celebrated through the representation of the presepe (Christmas crib), conceived by S. Francis (Greccio, Rieti, 1223) and symbol of the Christianity.
Among the many nativity scenes that are staged in this land, we point out an itinerary which includes the 5 most characteristic of the Lower Umbria, that deserve to be absolutely visited if you plan to spend the Christmas holidays in the Green Heart of Italy. Maybe staying in one of the charming farmhouses available.
The stages are, from the point of departure to that of arrival, Orvieto, Massa Martana, Marmore Falls, Ferentillo and Cascia. Borghi (and places) beautiful and evocative.
Recommended period to be able to admire them opened at the same time: from December 24th to January 6th.

Departure from the City of the Rupe. Easily accessible via the E35 – A1, Orvieto needs no introduction. It reached its peak during the late Middle Ages, thanks to the protection of the Pope. But the city’s origins are Etruscan. And precisely an Etruscan construction “rediscovered” in 1984 by Tersilio Sciarra, the Pozzo della Cava, hosts the Presepe nel Pozzo (Crib in the Well).
The main feature, of course, is given by the setting, unique in its kind. The nativity scene is made within the last great cave of the archaeological complex, 14 meters deep. Animated by hundreds of life-size mechanical characters, which makes the performance even more outstanding. In addition the set-up, different each year, is made by experts of the theatrical and film special effects theatrical and film developing leitmotifs on the basis of a precise historical reconstruction of customs and traditions.
Open every day from 09:00 to 20:00. Site: pozzodellacava.it.

Presepi d’Italia – Massa Martana. From Orvieto we go now eastward, without going back on the A1 but taking, in succession ,the SS205 (up to Baschi Scalo) and the SS408. Along the way you will see, perhaps stopping, the Parco Fluviale del Tevere (Tiber River Park), a protected area by the WWF since 1990 including an internal stretch of the river and Lake di Corbara. Once you arrive at the Pontecuti hamlet, take the SS79bis. You will flank Todi, the city of Jacopone, rich in medieval monuments and always praised for its quality of life. A bus may not be a waste of time … Keep going until you reach the Tiber SS79bis/Via Massa Martana. A stop may not be a waste of time… Keep going on the SS79bis/Via Tiberina road until you reach Massa Martana.
The beautiful village, surrounded by the woods, annually hosts Presepi d’Italia (Christmas Cribs of Italy), a season of the crib art of national level (among the most important) but also internationally. The works (about 150, not only scenes of the Nativity, ed) are presented in 25 shops located inside the medieval walls of Massa Martana.
Among the great attractions of Presepi d’Italia honorable mention for the “Presepe del Perugino“, inspired by the “Adorazione dei Magi” of the divin pittore (divine painter), Pietro Vannucci, with natural size papier-mâché statues, by the master Prof. Francesco Invidia, whose ceremony dresses surprise for the rich folds of the drapery in paper and the red color rule the roost.
Opening hours: every afternoon from 14:30 to 19:30 and, in the days of public holidays, even in the morning from 10:00 to 12:30.

The Crib of the Waterfall. We leave behind Massa Martana, heading south, arriving at the train station, where we taking the E45/SS3bis towards Terni. “Easy” exits are Acquasparta and San Gemini (where nearby you will find the Archaeological Area of Carsulae, worthy of a “short visit”). You arrive until the city of St. Valentine, also called “The Italian Manchester” due to the presence of the steel mills (and the steelworks would cost a heavy bombing during the Second World War, 1943). To get to the Cascata delle Marmore (Marmore Falls), the third step of our journeys, you have two choices: take the SS209 immediately, the Valnerina road, and after about 7 km you will find the lower belvedere (viewpoint); or take the SS79, direction Marmore, for the upper belvedere.
The Presepe Vivente di Marmore (Marmore Living Crib) is a “young” Christmas crib, born only a few years ago by the result of the commitment and dedication of the inhabitants. But surely fascinating: a natural frame of incredible beauty and charming for a cherished and engaging performance.
For information on the days and times of performances, please visit presepedimarmore.it.

The Presepe Artistico di Ferentillo. To get to Ferentillo, lower Valnerina, if in the previous stage you have chosen the first option, the SS209, simply continue along the same road until Ferentillo. In the second case, go back to the junction of Papigno and go down a few hairpin bends until you reach the SS209. You might be interested in, on the way, Arrone, placed between The Most Beatutiful Villages of Italy, and Casteldilago. And the many opportunities to do outdoor activities such as rafting, canoeing and climbing.
The Presepe Artistico di Ferentillo (Ferentillo Artistic Crib), housed in the Church of S. Maria, is nationally known and consists of a multiscenic representation narrating the passages of the Gospel of Luke, characters with great attention to details and very special scenic features such as, for example, lighting effects, smoke and various movements.
The work, which in 2003 won the 10th edition of the National Christmas Crib competition “Praesepium Italie”, is open every day ,from 15:00 to 19:00 on weekends and public holiday and 16:00 to 18:00 on weekdays (preferred reservation for the latter, ed.). Site: presepeferentillo.it.

… and finally, the city of St. Rita. Get back on the SS209 and head north in the direction of Cascia – Norcia. Crossing the Valnerina you will pass by Scheggino, Sant’Anatolia di Narco, Vallo di Nera and Borgo Cerreto. Exceeded the latter town, you abandoned the SS209 and take the SS320, which will take you to Cascia.
Here you will find the yearly traditional Rassegna dei Presepi (Festival of the Nativity Scenes), which collects nativity scenes of all types and sizes amongs churches, cellars and characteristic places of the old town centre of the borgo.
The crib exhibition is organized by the local chapter of the “Mo.i.ca” and by the “Amici del Presepe Fabio Carbonari” association, which will also set up, in addition to the already known monumental nativity scene, a Christmas tree and a further artistic crib in front the church of San Francesco in order “to send a good sign of love and peace through the crib”.

Fabrizio Galeazzi

The Umbria is one of the Italian regions by the oldest and most important historical, folk, religious and art tradition. Is no exception one of the most important holidays of the year, Christmas, celebrated through the representation of the presepe (Christmas crib), conceived by S. Francis (Greccio, Rieti, 1223) and symbol of the Christianity.
Among the many nativity scenes that are staged in this land, we point out an itinerary which includes the 5 most characteristic of the Lower Umbria, that deserve to be absolutely visited if you plan to spend the Christmas holidays in the Green Heart of Italy. Maybe staying in one of the charming farmhouses available.
The stages are, from the point of departure to that of arrival, Orvieto, Massa Martana, Marmore Falls, Ferentillo and Cascia. Borghi (and places) beautiful and evocative.
Recommended period to be able to admire them opened at the same time: from December 24th to January 6th.

Departure from the City of the Rupe. Easily accessible via the E35 – A1, Orvieto needs no introduction. It reached its peak during the late Middle Ages, thanks to the protection of the Pope. But the city’s origins are Etruscan. And precisely an Etruscan construction “rediscovered” in 1984 by Tersilio Sciarra, the Pozzo della Cava, hosts the Presepe nel Pozzo (Crib in the Well).
The main feature, of course, is given by the setting, unique in its kind. The nativity scene is made within the last great cave of the archaeological complex, 14 meters deep. Animated by hundreds of life-size mechanical characters, which makes the performance even more outstanding. In addition the set-up, different each year, is made by experts of the theatrical and film special effects theatrical and film developing leitmotifs on the basis of a precise historical reconstruction of customs and traditions.
Open every day from 09:00 to 20:00. Site: pozzodellacava.it.

Presepi d’Italia – Massa Martana. From Orvieto we go now eastward, without going back on the A1 but taking, in succession ,the SS205 (up to Baschi Scalo) and the SS408. Along the way you will see, perhaps stopping, the Parco Fluviale del Tevere (Tiber River Park), a protected area by the WWF since 1990 including an internal stretch of the river and Lake di Corbara. Once you arrive at the Pontecuti hamlet, take the SS79bis. You will flank Todi, the city of Jacopone, rich in medieval monuments and always praised for its quality of life. A bus may not be a waste of time … Keep going until you reach the Tiber SS79bis/Via Massa Martana. A stop may not be a waste of time… Keep going on the SS79bis/Via Tiberina road until you reach Massa Martana.
The beautiful village, surrounded by the woods, annually hosts Presepi d’Italia (Christmas Cribs of Italy), a season of the crib art of national level (among the most important) but also internationally. The works (about 150, not only scenes of the Nativity, ed) are presented in 25 shops located inside the medieval walls of Massa Martana.
Among the great attractions of Presepi d’Italia honorable mention for the “Presepe del Perugino“, inspired by the “Adorazione dei Magi” of the divin pittore (divine painter), Pietro Vannucci, with natural size papier-mâché statues, by the master Prof. Francesco Invidia, whose ceremony dresses surprise for the rich folds of the drapery in paper and the red color rule the roost.
Opening hours: every afternoon from 14:30 to 19:30 and, in the days of public holidays, even in the morning from 10:00 to 12:30.

The Crib of the Waterfall. We leave behind Massa Martana, heading south, arriving at the train station, where we taking the E45/SS3bis towards Terni. “Easy” exits are Acquasparta and San Gemini (where nearby you will find the Archaeological Area of Carsulae, worthy of a “short visit”). You arrive until the city of St. Valentine, also called “The Italian Manchester” due to the presence of the steel mills (and the steelworks would cost a heavy bombing during the Second World War, 1943). To get to the Cascata delle Marmore (Marmore Falls), the third step of our journeys, you have two choices: take the SS209 immediately, the Valnerina road, and after about 7 km you will find the lower belvedere (viewpoint); or take the SS79, direction Marmore, for the upper belvedere.
The Presepe Vivente di Marmore (Marmore Living Crib) is a “young” Christmas crib, born only a few years ago by the result of the commitment and dedication of the inhabitants. But surely fascinating: a natural frame of incredible beauty and charming for a cherished and engaging performance.
For information on the days and times of performances, please visit presepedimarmore.it.

The Presepe Artistico di Ferentillo. To get to Ferentillo, lower Valnerina, if in the previous stage you have chosen the first option, the SS209, simply continue along the same road until Ferentillo. In the second case, go back to the junction of Papigno and go down a few hairpin bends until you reach the SS209. You might be interested in, on the way, Arrone, placed between The Most Beatutiful Villages of Italy, and Casteldilago. And the many opportunities to do outdoor activities such as rafting, canoeing and climbing.
The Presepe Artistico di Ferentillo (Ferentillo Artistic Crib), housed in the Church of S. Maria, is nationally known and consists of a multiscenic representation narrating the passages of the Gospel of Luke, characters with great attention to details and very special scenic features such as, for example, lighting effects, smoke and various movements.
The work, which in 2003 won the 10th edition of the National Christmas Crib competition “Praesepium Italie”, is open every day ,from 15:00 to 19:00 on weekends and public holiday and 16:00 to 18:00 on weekdays (preferred reservation for the latter, ed.). Site: presepeferentillo.it.

… and finally, the city of St. Rita. Get back on the SS209 and head north in the direction of Cascia – Norcia. Crossing the Valnerina you will pass by Scheggino, Sant’Anatolia di Narco, Vallo di Nera and Borgo Cerreto. Exceeded the latter town, you abandoned the SS209 and take the SS320, which will take you to Cascia.
Here you will find the yearly traditional Rassegna dei Presepi (Festival of the Nativity Scenes), which collects nativity scenes of all types and sizes amongs churches, cellars and characteristic places of the old town centre of the borgo.
The crib exhibition is organized by the local chapter of the “Mo.i.ca” and by the “Amici del Presepe Fabio Carbonari” association, which will also set up, in addition to the already known monumental nativity scene, a Christmas tree and a further artistic crib in front the church of San Francesco in order “to send a good sign of love and peace through the crib”.

Fabrizio Galeazzi

The Umbria is one of the Italian regions by the oldest and most important historical, folk, religious and art tradition. Is no exception one of the most important holidays of the year, Christmas, celebrated through the representation of the presepe (Christmas crib), conceived by S. Francis (Greccio, Rieti, 1223) and symbol of the Christianity.
Among the many nativity scenes that are staged in this land, we point out an itinerary which includes the 5 most characteristic of the Lower Umbria, that deserve to be absolutely visited if you plan to spend the Christmas holidays in the Green Heart of Italy. Maybe staying in one of the charming farmhouses available.
The stages are, from the point of departure to that of arrival, Orvieto, Massa Martana, Marmore Falls, Ferentillo and Cascia. Borghi (and places) beautiful and evocative.
Recommended period to be able to admire them opened at the same time: from December 24th to January 6th.

Departure from the City of the Rupe. Easily accessible via the E35 – A1, Orvieto needs no introduction. It reached its peak during the late Middle Ages, thanks to the protection of the Pope. But the city’s origins are Etruscan. And precisely an Etruscan construction “rediscovered” in 1984 by Tersilio Sciarra, the Pozzo della Cava, hosts the Presepe nel Pozzo (Crib in the Well).
The main feature, of course, is given by the setting, unique in its kind. The nativity scene is made within the last great cave of the archaeological complex, 14 meters deep. Animated by hundreds of life-size mechanical characters, which makes the performance even more outstanding. In addition the set-up, different each year, is made by experts of the theatrical and film special effects theatrical and film developing leitmotifs on the basis of a precise historical reconstruction of customs and traditions.
Open every day from 09:00 to 20:00. Site: pozzodellacava.it.

Presepi d’Italia – Massa Martana. From Orvieto we go now eastward, without going back on the A1 but taking, in succession ,the SS205 (up to Baschi Scalo) and the SS408. Along the way you will see, perhaps stopping, the Parco Fluviale del Tevere (Tiber River Park), a protected area by the WWF since 1990 including an internal stretch of the river and Lake di Corbara. Once you arrive at the Pontecuti hamlet, take the SS79bis. You will flank Todi, the city of Jacopone, rich in medieval monuments and always praised for its quality of life. A bus may not be a waste of time … Keep going until you reach the Tiber SS79bis/Via Massa Martana. A stop may not be a waste of time… Keep going on the SS79bis/Via Tiberina road until you reach Massa Martana.
The beautiful village, surrounded by the woods, annually hosts Presepi d’Italia (Christmas Cribs of Italy), a season of the crib art of national level (among the most important) but also internationally. The works (about 150, not only scenes of the Nativity, ed) are presented in 25 shops located inside the medieval walls of Massa Martana.
Among the great attractions of Presepi d’Italia honorable mention for the “Presepe del Perugino“, inspired by the “Adorazione dei Magi” of the divin pittore (divine painter), Pietro Vannucci, with natural size papier-mâché statues, by the master Prof. Francesco Invidia, whose ceremony dresses surprise for the rich folds of the drapery in paper and the red color rule the roost.
Opening hours: every afternoon from 14:30 to 19:30 and, in the days of public holidays, even in the morning from 10:00 to 12:30.

The Crib of the Waterfall. We leave behind Massa Martana, heading south, arriving at the train station, where we taking the E45/SS3bis towards Terni. “Easy” exits are Acquasparta and San Gemini (where nearby you will find the Archaeological Area of Carsulae, worthy of a “short visit”). You arrive until the city of St. Valentine, also called “The Italian Manchester” due to the presence of the steel mills (and the steelworks would cost a heavy bombing during the Second World War, 1943). To get to the Cascata delle Marmore (Marmore Falls), the third step of our journeys, you have two choices: take the SS209 immediately, the Valnerina road, and after about 7 km you will find the lower belvedere (viewpoint); or take the SS79, direction Marmore, for the upper belvedere.
The Presepe Vivente di Marmore (Marmore Living Crib) is a “young” Christmas crib, born only a few years ago by the result of the commitment and dedication of the inhabitants. But surely fascinating: a natural frame of incredible beauty and charming for a cherished and engaging performance.
For information on the days and times of performances, please visit presepedimarmore.it.

The Presepe Artistico di Ferentillo. To get to Ferentillo, lower Valnerina, if in the previous stage you have chosen the first option, the SS209, simply continue along the same road until Ferentillo. In the second case, go back to the junction of Papigno and go down a few hairpin bends until you reach the SS209. You might be interested in, on the way, Arrone, placed between The Most Beatutiful Villages of Italy, and Casteldilago. And the many opportunities to do outdoor activities such as rafting, canoeing and climbing.
The Presepe Artistico di Ferentillo (Ferentillo Artistic Crib), housed in the Church of S. Maria, is nationally known and consists of a multiscenic representation narrating the passages of the Gospel of Luke, characters with great attention to details and very special scenic features such as, for example, lighting effects, smoke and various movements.
The work, which in 2003 won the 10th edition of the National Christmas Crib competition “Praesepium Italie”, is open every day ,from 15:00 to 19:00 on weekends and public holiday and 16:00 to 18:00 on weekdays (preferred reservation for the latter, ed.). Site: presepeferentillo.it.

… and finally, the city of St. Rita. Get back on the SS209 and head north in the direction of Cascia – Norcia. Crossing the Valnerina you will pass by Scheggino, Sant’Anatolia di Narco, Vallo di Nera and Borgo Cerreto. Exceeded the latter town, you abandoned the SS209 and take the SS320, which will take you to Cascia.
Here you will find the yearly traditional Rassegna dei Presepi (Festival of the Nativity Scenes), which collects nativity scenes of all types and sizes amongs churches, cellars and characteristic places of the old town centre of the borgo.
The crib exhibition is organized by the local chapter of the “Mo.i.ca” and by the “Amici del Presepe Fabio Carbonari” association, which will also set up, in addition to the already known monumental nativity scene, a Christmas tree and a further artistic crib in front the church of San Francesco in order “to send a good sign of love and peace through the crib”.

Fabrizio Galeazzi