In December the Umbrian cities are dressed of light and color. In places like Assisi and Spello, which thanks to their conformation already normally resemble nativity scenes, you can feel the real atmosphere of Christmas. Looking at the festively decorated shops, I recall the memories of my childhood and the wait for the day, for me, the most beautiful time of the year.
For the Christmas season, in the area, there are numerous initiatives and attractions
that catalyze the attention of tourists and locals.
In the city of St. Francis, the inventor of the first Christmas Crib, the reenactments of the Nativity are the protagonists of Assisi. The streets of the center and in the surroundings every niche, showcase or church houses a nativity scene. Most of these representations participates in a contest that every year rewards the best amateur crib.
Not to be missed it’s the exhibition “All nativity scenes of the World” at the Portiuncula of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Assisi. Over the years, people from all over the world donated their crib to the friars of Assisi and, at Christmas time, the Portiuncula shows the best works in the path of the Rose Garden and in the cloister of the convent.
Another marvel is the monumental crib in the meadow of the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi with human size terracotta figures, the huge Christmas fir tree at the entrance of the Lower Basilica and the artistic works that every year the Italian region chosen to honor the Patron of Italy gives the Convent.
Each fraction participates to the Christmas with all kinds of initiatives, from the traditional ones, such as the nativity scene of the Sacred Hovel, to the more particulars, like the descent of the flying Befana from the top of the church of Rivotorto. In the central squares you can not miss the classic Christmas markets (Santa Maria degli Angeli e Rivotorto di Assisi) inherited from the Nordic tradition, where to buy the latest gifts or get groped by the goodies on display.
Last but not least: the typical and traditional live nativity scenes. Most of them are real theater performances, amateur made by the inhabitants of the formerly headquarters of the medieval castles of the countryside Assisi. Within the scenic are often present dining options where you can taste the always excellent dishes of traditional Umbrian cuisine. Worth mentioning in this respect: the Nativity of Petrignano San Gregorio and Armenzano.
Here is the complete 2019-20 program.
If you wish to enjoy Christmas in Assisi, we recommend you stay in one of the hotel of Subasio Park.