The Nativity...Presepe Vivente of Custonaci
It's hard to imagine anything more evocative of this Nativity which now reaches its 37th edition; an event which since 2006 is part of the 100 Intangible Heritage of the Sicilian Region.
25-26-29-30 Dicembre 2018
4-5-6- Gemnaio 2019
Custonaci, a cluster of houses built around an ancient sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is located nearby the fascinating natural caves that open along the cliffs of Mount Hood Nature Reserve; there are only a few kilometers from San Vito Lo Capo, on the road that leads to Trapani.
The Living Nativity of Custonaci is recreated annually within the Mangiapane Cave with its 80 meters high and 70 deep all the way back to 30,000 years; leaning against the cave are tiny houses built by shepherds and farmers around 800 that have kept intact all their charm.
The local community could not have done more to enhance this natural environment so precious and full of symbolic values, bringing together around this project also craftsmen and artists from all over Sicily.
The cultural heritage of the ancient crafts and traditions of Sicily is thus shown to visitors in a lively manner and full of charm; adults and children will admire him for six days between Christmas and Epiphany.
More than 70 scenes of life, old crafts and activities now unknown; more than 80 people involved in adult, youth and children; a choral event that excites and involves.
Everything really happens before your eyes, feel the smell of freshly baked bread, the freshly prepared cheese ... almost hear the voices and the sounds of the ancient crafts ... will witness to family scenes of other times ...; a really charming location that fascinates for its wonderful view of the Gulf of Cofano.
The Custonaci community has managed to involve in this project the University of Palermo, to faithfully recreate environments, crafts and costumes and avoid false reconstructions.
The Cave of Scurati Mangiapane is the most popular of the caves that are located inside the Monte Cofano and takes its name from the family who last lived there until the early fifties. It is an ancient prehistoric settlement later turned into a small village with small houses that suggest just a natural crib surrounded by a large Mediterranean maquis vegetation.
This place, for the beauty and the emotions it can stir was chosen as the location for several films and television series, among which: The "Ispettore Montalbano", "Mondo Nuovo", "Viola di Mare" and most recently for the film PIF "In guerra per amore."
You can buy the Ticket in the center of Custonaci, or online at www.presepeviventedicustonaci.it
The ticket price includes a shuttle service from the center to the cave and back, and the opportunity to taste local products.