The Nativity: Scenes from Everyday Life

Diorama exhibition and workshops for adults

The nativity scene is undoubtedly one of the most loved Christmas traditions. For many of us, it is linked to childhood memories and is part of the Christmas decorations in the home. Yet sometimes the nativity scene becomes a real form of artistic expression.

From 4th December to 6th January, this particular art form will be the protagonist of an exhibition organised by the City of Padua’s Department of Culture and held at the Scuderie in Palazzo Moroni, entitled “Il Presepe: scene di vita quotidiana” (“The Nativity: scenes from everyday life”).

The exhibition will include dioramas, being three-dimensional representations of scenes and events to scale, enclosed in a box and visible through a special window called a “boccascena”. The dioramas on display are handmade by the Associazione Cammino ad Oriente, which includes nativity scenes from the Veneto, Lombardy and Emilia Romagna regions. The nativity scenes are made of polystyrene enriched with terracotta, wood and resin elements, commissioned by Italian and Spanish sculptors. The nativity scenes are rendered even more magical thanks to a discerning study of the lighting.

Another unique aspect of this exhibition is the type of scenes represented – not the traditional image of the barn with the Holy Family, but a personal reinterpretation of the nativity in the context of a popular and rural setting.

The exhibition with free admission will be open from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm (closed each Monday, on 25th December and on 1st January). For information, please contact the organisers at the following address: or the Associazione Cammino ad Oriente via, or visit the Gruppo Presepistico Cammino ad Oriente‘s Facebook page).

That’s not all! Those who are curious and interested in the diorama technique will be able to put themselves to the test: for the duration of the exhibition, in fact, at the Centro Culturale Altinate San Gaetano workshops for adults will be held, dedicated to the construction of dioramas. Places are limited and reservations are compulsory. To find out more about the costs and other details, please contact Nicolò Celegato at +39 3924341382 or via email at


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