Neapolitan Christmas: The Crib Market of San Gregorio Armeno

There is a place in Naples where Christmas lasts all year long.

It’s in one of the narrow streets situated on the main road “Spaccanapoli”, so called as it used to separate the city into two halves. Walking along this arterial road in the heart of Napoli you can find the big “Piazza del Gesu” with its breath-taking “Chiesa del Gesu Nuovo” and the mystic Church of Santa Chiara.

Piazza del Gesù Nuovo

Piazza del Gesù Nuovo with the church “del Gesu Nuovo” on the left and the church of Santa Chiara on the right

As you proceed you can literally take a plunge in that indefinable, Neapolitan atmosphere that made the city world-wide famous.

"Spaccanapoli" before getting into the core of the life of centro storico and then Crib market

“Spaccanapoli” before getting into the core of the life of centro storico and then Crib market

As you walk further in, you will find lots of places where you can taste delicious street food such as the Christmas typical sweets called “Mostaccioli”, the round, hard biscuits called “Roccocò” and “struffoli” which are marble sized balls made out of dough and covered with honey.

neapoletan-sweets

Another typical Neapolitan street food is the “Coppetiello”, which is also called “Friggitoria“. It varies in lots of different types of fried stuff in bags including: pasta, rice, omelettes of macaroni, mozzarella, croquettes, bowlers, cod, squid, Mediterranean fish, stuffed anchovies and more.

"Coppetiello napoletano" -

“Coppetiello napoletano”

It won’t be a problem to find San Gregorio Armeno. Cribs and decorations overflow from the “vico” and invite you to step into the land of neverending Christmas. You can find lots of examples of the traditional “presepe napoletano” but also different, more original interpretations of the crib and its characters.

San Gregorio Armeno street

San Gregorio Armeno street

You can find the normal “pastori” mixed with statues of politicians, singers, actors and tv hosts. Caricatures of the most influential people of our times but also clay reproductions of characters of the Neapolitan folklore such as Pulcinella and the “Monaciello”.

Lots of choices to fill your Crib!

Lots of choices to fill your Crib!

In San Gregorio Armeno you can find artisanal cribs with water flowing from tiny fountains, fires lighting in small, perfect reproductions of wood ovens and dioramas reproducing worker’s daily lives. Miniatures of news dealers, lawyers, engineers, chemists and many others lay on the stalls on display for the visitors.

Big cribs to buy either empty or by choosing the characters from the market

Big cribs to buy either empty or by choosing the characters from the market

Of course you can buy your own crib starting from small ones at just Eur10 (more ideal if you are travelling) or the more complete ones starting from approximately Eur30.