The 35th edition of the annual international nativity crib exhibition 100 Presepi has opened in Piazza del Popolo's Sala del Bramante and runs daily throughout the Christmas season, until 7 January 2011.
In addition to contemporary reproductions of traditional 18th-century Neapolitan and Sicilian cribs and 19th-century Roman ones, the exhibition hosts numerous creations constructed from materials as various as ostrich eggs, shells, tea bags, glass, spices and even pasta. 109 of the 176 nativity scenes come from Italian regions while the remaining 67 come from other European countries, Asia, Latin America, North America and Africa.
Founded in 1975 by journalist Manilo Menaglio, the original aim of 100 Presepi was to preserve the ancient Italian tradition of crib-making. The exhibition also acts as a competition and on 7 January winners will be announced in the following four categories: Christmas cribs, fantasy cribs, international exhibits, and foreign schools, institutions and associations. Children aged between four and 11 are encouraged to take part in the exhibition's crib-building workshop, Nativity as a Game. (reservations required)
At S. Maria in Via near Piazza S. Silvestro Italian members of the global crib-building association Friends of the Crib build a traditional-style crib in the church each year, as well as constructing the large cribs in Piazza Navona and Piazza S. Pietro.
Near the Roman Forum is the Museo Tipologico Nazionale del Presepio, a private museum dedicated to crib memorabilia accumulated by crib expert Angelo Stefanucci (1905-1990). Located on Via Tor de' Conti, 31/A, under the church of SS. Quirico e Giulitta, the international collection comprises 3,000 figurines made from an eclectic selection of materials, as well as books, medals and stamps. Visits (max. 20 people) arranged by appointment, tel. 066796146.
A more unusual manger scene is the street cleaner