On December 8 every year, for over fifty years, one of the most original nativity scenes in the worldhas been lit up in Manarola.
The inventor is Mario Andreoli, born in 1928, the prometheus capable of illuminating the entire Hill of the Three Crosses with the great nativity composed of 250 figures covered with thousands of lights.
“It was 1961 when my father, on the verge of death, asked me to restore a cross that stood on top of the family hill, says Mario.Having fixed the cross, I had the idea of lighting it with a car battery. I haven’t stopped since that day.”
Iron and recycled materials of all kinds, with the flexible and welding machine, with imagination and stubbornness.Mario thus begins to give life to the characters in his spare time from the profession of railway worker.
From bricoleur he turns, unwittingly, into the creator of a visionary environmental work of art in close dialogue with the surrounding wine landscape.
In the 80s he retired, so he could finally dedicate himself to the crib, now considered a collective asset of the local community and of the whole territory.
In recent years to help Mario Andreoli carry on the tradition of the luminous nativity scene, in addition to the support of the Cinque Terre National Park and the Municipality of Riomaggiore, the “Associazione Presepe di Manarola Mario Andreoli” was born.
The association takes care, under its direction, to set up the light show on the hill of the three crosses and to organize collateral events.
The lighting occurs each year on December 8. The nativity scene remains lit from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., until January 30, 2022