Follow the star to the church of Santo Spirito to wonder at the impressive nativity scene designed by Matera-born artist Francesco Artese.


Extending across 100 square metres and hosting 110 characters, the holy story is set in the artist’s home countryside of Basilicata. Previously displayed in New York and in the Vatican City, the scene tells the story of Christ’s birth through a cross section of life of the rocks of Matera and with more than a passing reference to Florence. The bearded figure of Michelangelo appears in the Nativity carving a crucifix, the same crucifix that would be given to the Augustinian friars and positioned in the church’s sacristy.


The nativity scene will be on display until February 4, 2018.


All photos by Andrea Paoletti

Support The Florentine

The Florentine is still here.

“Thank you, The Florentine, for the support you’ve offered to the city of Florence during such a difficult time.”


We’ve kept our promise to stand by your side during lockdown with real-time updates on legislative changes to inform local readers; with thoughtful words and iconic photography in Healing not Broken, a commemorative special issue; a more frequent and redesigned newsletter; and TF Together, our live interview series on Facebook and YouTube.

We’re bruised, but alive. We’re hurt, but refuse to break. Our advertising revenue has all but vanished, but we are striving to stay true to our mission as the English News Magazine in Florence since 2005. It’s thanks to our readers, the international community of Florence, wherever you are in the world that we are still afloat as Covid-19 relinquishes its grip on Italy and the economic crisis begins to bite.

If The Florentine is here tomorrow, it’s thanks to you.

Please donate to help us continue our coverage from this city we love.

Our request

We’re asking Florence lovers, here in Italy, in the US and further afield, to pledge what you can to guarantee coverage in the short- and mid-term.

Personal Info

Donation Total: €20,00

more articles