Naples Christmas Alley – San Gregorio Armeno

San Gregorio Armeno in Naples - Photo by Margie MiklasSan Gregorio Armeno, otherwise known in Naples as Christmas Alley, is always filled with people, but in the month of December, chaos and crowds define the street.

San Gregorio Armeno in Naples - Photo by Margie Miklas Over half a million tourists visit these small shops, which line both sides of the street.

San Gregorio Armeno in Naples - Photo by Margie MiklasAlthough the shops stay open throughout the year, the artisans are preparing for Christmas from September to the holidays.

San Gregorio Armeno in Naples - Photo by Margie MiklasI am amazed at the patience and skill of the craftsmen as I observe them carving and painting each object.

Photo by Margie MiklasComplete Nativity sets, presepi, command high prices, up to 5000€. Various shops sell also a plethora of figurines and accessories to use in creating your own presepe. I recall asking the price of a small sheep as well as the artisan’s response, “Centoquaranta euro,” 140€.

San Gregorio Armeno in Naples - Photo by Margie MiklasPresepi play a role all over Italy, and the Nativity scene does not consist solely of Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the Three Wise Men. A whole village is created around the manger itself.

San Gregorio Armeno in Naples - Photo by Margie MiklasNeapolitans believe that they craft the best manger scenes, and hundreds are displayed throughout the city during the Christmas season.

San Gregorio Armeno in Naples - Photo by Margie MiklasOften the presepi figures are based on real people or animals and are called presepi viventi. Two of my favorite characters are the woman lowering a basket from a balcony, as well as another woman making sauce from tomatoes using a hand-held genuine tomato press.

San Gregorio Armeno in Naples - Photo by Margie MiklasSan Gregorio Armeno in Naples - Photo by Margie MiklasThe words here are from a page in Colors of Naples and the Amalfi Coast, my recently published photo book.

Colors of Naples and the Amalfi Coast by Margie MiklasIf you like this post, you may be interested in my book, available either on Amazon.com, or directly through me. I’d be happy to send you an autographed copy for the same price ($24.99) plus shipping ($5.01) – International shipping costs are higher. Contact me at margieeee@comcast.net

Have you visited Naples? Do you have your own memories to share? I’d love to hear them, so please leave a comment.

Ciao and grazie.

6 Responses

  1. I’ve visited Christmas Alley in October.
    But am going to Italy next week and am hoping to see the ‘Alley’ have you ever been at the weekend am hoping it won’t be too packed…sat or Sunday?
    Many thanks.

    • Thank you for the kind comments Louise we’re visiting my blog. I have never been to Christmas Alley in December. I have only heard that it is very crowded but I guess then you’ll get into the Christmas spirit. Buon Natale

  2. Love looking at your photos

  3. […] This famous street in Naples has been nicknamed ‘Christmas Alley’.  Enjoy this fun and slightly quirky video.  My friend and writer Margie has a great post HERE. […]

  4. Thanks Margie for the (as always) excellent photos, I’m putting this in my ‘places to go’ album and your book on my Christmas list. Apropos, yes?

    • Thank you so very much, HW. I really appreciate your kind words. I hope you enjoy the book and maybe can travel there sometime soon too!

I'm always interested in your thoughts, so please leave a comment.