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Italy’s amazing sand Nativity Scenes in Jesolo

Jesolo hosts 10 sand sculptures this Christmas.

Sculptors from around the world return to Jesolo, a seaside resort near Venice in north-east Italy, for an annual sand festival dedicated to religious art.

The 2022 edition of the popular event opens on 9 December and can be visited until 5 February 2023.

On display will be 10 monumental sculptures, made entirely of sand, depicting Nativity scenes as well as messages of peace.

The sculptors have used thousands of tons of compacted sand to create their masterpieces which appear to be carved from stone.

Instead the works have been created with the most ephemeral of materials - without a drop of glue used - relying only on skill and water.

Jesus heals the bleeding woman, by Jakub Zimacek, 2021. Photo Comune di Jesolo.

This year's event, whose title is Sculptures of Peace, is once again under the artistic direction of American Richard Varano who selected artists in Europe and north America to participate in the prestigious festival.

Varano gained international recognition in 2018 when he oversaw the creation of a giant sand Nativity scene at St Peter's Square in the Vatican.

The 15 artists participating in this year's sand festival in Jesolo come from Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the UK and the US.

Founded in 2002, the Jesolo event has welcomed more than 1.7 million visitors over the last 20 years, raising over €800,000 which was donated to charities around the world as well as to local associations.

For more information about the festival and for visiting details see the Jesolo Sand Nativity website.

Cover photo: Detail of Nativity (2021) by Susanne Marguerite, David Ducharme and Marielle Heessels. Image courtesy Comune di Jesolo - Avvenire.

General Info

Address Piazza Brescia, 30016 Lido di Jesolo VE, Italy

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Italy’s amazing sand Nativity Scenes in Jesolo

Piazza Brescia, 30016 Lido di Jesolo VE, Italy

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