One of the most important ways of celebrating Christmas in Italy is the Nativity crib scene . Using a crib to help tell the Christmas story was made very popular by St. Francis of Assisi in 1223 (Assisi is in mid-Italy). The previous year he had visited Bethlehem and saw where it was thought that Jesus was born. A lot of Italian families have a Nativity crib in their homes.
Christmas season in Italy is traditionally celebrated from December 24 January 6, or Christmas Eve through Epiphany, which is often referred to as the Twelve Days of Christmas. If you're traveling to Italy during this festive season, you're certain to run into a variety of special events, celebrations, and holiday markets throughout the country.