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The Stiffe Grottoes and Presepe (Nativity Display)
A tourist organization called, simply, “Grotte di Stiffe” was formed in 1991. As a result, the first installation of a presepe—a Nativty manger scene, the most characteristic of all Italian Christmas symbols—came about in 1994. The presepe stays in place from December 8 through January G; that is, from the feast days of Corpus domini through Epiphany. Typically, the area leading up to the grotto entrance is adorned with traditional presepe figures such a shepherds and even Roman soldiers carrying out the census (“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to their own town to register.” - Luke:2-3) The figures for the presepe are made by local artisans.