national prizes. It was touching to see that the
whole town of Casole was involved in some way.
With 250 characters in costume, emergency personnel, people-movers, food and drink stalls etc it is quite an enterprise.
The first section portrayed the Roman presence in Palestine within a kind of amphitheatre where richly dressed patricians lolled about, bought slaves and generally looked imperial and indolent...for added realism there were even a few 'lepers' begging in a corner...
After this was a delightful series of tableaux portraying
the populace of Bethlehem with their animals, produce and crafts. This series epitomised the most characteristic aspects of the traditional Italian Presepe, live or not.
The participants covered a range of age-groups from very young to very old with goats, donkeys, sheep and geese joining in.
The cheese stall; note the kid being held on the right.
A display of farm produce, like a painting.
Elderly women spinning wool with a drop spindle (they did their research).
The potter and his apprentices at the wheel.
Flour being stone-ground, sifted and made into bread.
The marketplace, with geese in wooden cages, spices and food for sale
A goatherd, resting...
The Nativity Scene itself, complete with ox and ass.
The Live Nativity Scene of Casole d'Elsa is held only once every two years for a few days around Christmas, ending at the Epiphany.