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Cammarata -San Giovanni Gemini

Your next destination in Sicily in the Sicani mountains

Una montagna di eccellenze

Because of the pandemic  COVID-19 the living nativity scene of Cammarata did NOT take place in 2020. When the time comes you will find it more beautiful than before, we are sure.

The magic of Christmas in Cammarata

The living nativity scene of Cammarata, one of the most beautiful nativity scenes  in Sicily

chiesa san vito martire da drone

The living nativity scene was born within the parish community of San Vito in Cammarata, in 2003. Promoted and created by the Ass. SS. Crocifisso Degli Angeli, and under the guidance of Mons. Liborio Russotto, which also leads to an in-depth knowledge of the magical world of an ancient tradition such as that of Christmas. An initiative that succeeds through the birth of Jesus to tell the event that changed the course of history.

Historically set in the Cammarata civilization of the late 1800s and early 1900s, it is represented in a complex of houses in our historic center, where the streets are transformed into a glimpse of daily life, which features shepherds, animals, artisans and farmers, who they make us relive Christmas, through the simple life of other times, re-proposing disappeared activities, forgotten customs and faded customs and flavors of life, where our roots sink, to try to keep them alive and present in the historical memory of our land.

The alleys, cellars and old stables, once inhabited by ancient families and now in disuse, are covered with lights, gestures, songs and flavors of the past, coming to life through the numerous peasant clothes, animate the scenes inside the houses and along the entire route, making the visitor relive a unique and unrepeatable emotion, leaving an indelible memory to those who visit it for the first time.

The nativity scene, in the case of Cammarata, is a religious and folkloristic event.

Promo video

Video making:Take Photo Video

presee cammarata animali
nascita natale
pecora  presepe vivente di Cammarata
mestieri preepe di cammarata

The Living Nativity of Cammarata Actors and spectators of an ancient theater.
The nativity scene begins under the ancient Arab arch  in via Coffari, "  u patu  », Which introduces the visitor into an« other »space and time. We meet "u firraru" who heats the iron and then strikes it and molds it to his liking, "u scarparu" while styling his broken shoes; «Li raccamatrici», who embroider various fabrics in a room heated by the brascera; «A furnara» intent on baking bread in a wood oven; «U picuraru» which prepares ricotta.

Inside a stable is set up "  u Museum »: the figure, in the role of a farmer, lists the small and large tools and the  work tools of the peasant world. «U Fasularu», who from his cauldron distributes a good ladle of cooked beans to passers-by. «U Picuraru», fully dressed in a vraca, made of sheep's wool. Below we enter a timeless scene, "  A Capanna », a hierophant place par excellence, the cradle of the sacred space, where St. Joseph, Mary and the Child Jesus are interpreted by people in flesh and blood: an ox and a donkey in a straw and wicker frame in the background.


Continuing we stop in front of «u Furnaru», where skilled baker knead, bake and season excellent warm bread with new oil, whose fragrance refreshes visitors. Towards the fortress, visit the shop «u Scarparu  »Bent over the work table, to mend and refurbish soles and old shoes; hereinafter «u Siggiaru» who repairs and builds chairs and also weaves vegetable fibers for  making panara. "  U Varvìari », an essential hall of the early twentieth century; «U Falignami», bent over his worktop amidst saws and planes; "  u Firraru ", busy with his tools: forge, bellows, anvil, nails, keys, plows, etc. The smell of almonds and figs envelops the shop of" u Pizzarrunaru "who has just baked his Christmas sweets. 


Out of  beam we meet two  ciaramiddari  that with  Christmas music and carols  brighten the atmosphere of  creche. Then, the cries of some apparently shining men draw us into «a  Tavern". Here some, dressed properly in dark clothes, flat cap and scapuccina, play cards, others drink, others play  u marranzanu  singing old stories. The confused and cheerful shouting of  some women announce that they are in the vicinity of a "Putia": in the small shop two women, with  brascera on the ground, they sell the products of the earth: tomatoes, vegetables, fruit along with other essential foods such as sugar, salt and legumes; the products of the poor market of that time: flour, pasta,  sugar, coffee, lentils, stockfish, cheeses hanging on the wire, prickly pears, bay leaf, cinnamon,  chamomile flowers, quinces, abstract lo and rowanberries.

Further on, a good smell of cooked chickpeas there  pushes into the "du Ciciraru" hut. You then enter the splendid laboratory of «  u Sculptures »: here it is  It is possible to admire miniature stone masterpieces. In another space, «u Spremiracina» teases i  passers-by with the strong and pungent smell of good mulled wine. 

A few meters away «u Stazzunaru» that draws  from shapeless clay and clay tools essential to domestic life:  lanceddi, bummuli,  flat, pinned  etc. Two women inside a small reconstructed mill «annex u  frummìantu », while a man at the millstone is in charge of flour. Next door you are  preparing the pasta: some women around the arbitrator work the various types of pasta placed on reeds  to dry.

In a small room there is a small laboratory, "Li Raccamatrici", there are three women  curves on white linens and work blankets, sheets and other linen harmonizing colors, designs and  various ancient points. Continuing a woman weaves  I kept  to the large wooden loom, and other old women  ladies, sitting around brascera, work the stocking, the crochet and the knit. In the staging of  not even the private dimension of the owners has been forgotten in this small shop; indeed,  behind the exhibition the house was recreated to remember how domestic life took place in  such confined spaces, «in Famigghia». The furnishings are those of a poor family: in one room,  all the components live, the mother swings the baby's naca while knitting.
In the  nearby a male voice chants the presence "  du Cinnirazzaru », a man with a shawl and  coppola running with the donkey selling charcoal. At the end of the route the «The Hague» unfolds: here  an elderly farmer directs the threshing, pisata, holding the animal that shatters the  scattered sheaves. The path ends with the  visit  in the beautiful  church of the Madonna del Barone:  dedicated to the Madonna delle Grazie. The whole itinerary reveals surprises that leave the visitor happy. 

chiesa madonna del barone
The setting

The crib is set in  Arab neighborhood called San Vito  in the heart of  Ancient cammarata.

To access  the fortress  you cross "U patu", an Arab arch. The neighborhood that ends overhanging with houses for the most part made of stone and now uninhabited, with small windows and wooden doors on which a cross is often affixed and from where it is expected that suddenly a character with oriental features will emerge. , kindly, greet us and wish us good luck: a step back in time, in that territory where two thousand years ago, a couple sought asylum.


This is Cammarata, a country described by many as a  country-crib  due to the suggestive location perched on a slope with the huts all close and crowded together, it recalls the glimpses of ancient Palestine, an atmosphere of timeless suspension. It seems that the past takes over the present; A peasant community typical of the early twentieth century is revived: the costumes and sets are very well-kept, the participation of the people of Cammarata and San Giovanni Gemini is very high, involved in the scenes and the setting up. The more than 150 extras animate about thirty scenes, reviving glimpses of everyday life. Among the narrow streets you will taste the flavors of our cuisine prepared as they once were.

​La chiesa San Vito Martire Cammarata

There  San Vito Martire church

The church of San Vito dates back to the early 16th century. In a document dated 1541 the church is described as a small non-sacramental monument with only the altars of San Vito, San Calogero, San Filippo, San Rocco, the Virgin Ss. Del Riparo and the Ss. Crucifix of the Angels.  Today the church presents itself  with three naves.   The statue of San Vito is located in the central nave, in this chapel there is an eighteenth-century wooden choir with sculpted eagles, while in the walls of the same chapel there are four sculptures representing the martyrdom of the saint.

In the side aisles they are preserved  several altars e  canvases of great artistic value.

It is a church with three naves. The central nave ends with an apse inside which there is the statue of San Vito, the saint to whom the entire church is dedicated.

  Of great importance is the painting of the Dormitio Virginis, by Ettore Cruzer. There are also other canvases, representing for example: San Nicola, San Liborio, the Pietà, the souls in Purgatory (canvas that was restored, in fact there are two different versions) and the life of San Placido (narrated in sixteen scenes).

In the church there is a processional fercolo of the SS Crocifisso degli Angeli which is celebrated on the last Sunday of May, and dates back to 1863.

Looking out from the main door you can admire a suggestive stone staircase.

There are several silver goblets dating back to various eras, and the oldest one dates back to 1500 and has a brass foot and silver cup.

- the church of San Vito Martire  is  open to the public, it is located in via San Vito 15. Parking in piazza Marrelli.

  Masses -  Weekday: 18.00
Holidays: 8.30-11.30-19.00

Phone  0922 909086