Naples … Christmas shopping for an Usain Bolt fairy for the top of the tree

Just by the Napoli Sotterranea and running along the side of the Chiesa di San Lorenzo Maggiore is the Via San Gregorio Armeno, a narrow lane packed with numerous small workshops that all specialise in the same thing: nativity scenes. Whatever month of the year it is, beautifully hand-crafted nativity models can be bought from here. Beautiful they may well be, but humble they certainly are not. The bigger, the better.

More Winter Wonderland than humble Bethlehem stable

More Winter Wonderland than humble Bethlehem stable

Some have extra characters thrown in.

I thought only three wise men and a couple of shepherds came to visit

I thought only three wise men and a couple of shepherds came to visit

If the birth of Christ took place in December 2012, I am sure this group of key 2012 celebrities below would have been there. Although not quite the traditional scene one would have otherwise opted for, I particularly liked Usain Bolt pointing to the Dark Knight Batman Angel Gabriel at the top of this Christmas 2012 stable.

The baby Jesus is hidden in there somewhere

The baby Jesus is hidden in there somewhere

Amongst the Italian home-grown celebrities were more international familiar faces including Gaddafi, Angela Merkel, Nelson Mandela, Pope Benedict, our dear Queen Elizabeth, a naked Prince Harry (oh dear) ...

Amongst the Italian home-grown celebrities were more international familiar faces including Gaddafi, Angela Merkel, Nelson Mandela, Pope Benedict, our dear Queen Elizabeth, a naked Prince Harry (oh dear) …

... and legendary Paralympian Oscar Pistorius (before 'that' fateful day a few months later in 2013)

… and legendary Paralympian Oscar Pistorius (before ‘that’ fateful day a few months later in 2013)

I would have bought the whole thing and brought it back to London with me, but it probably would have exceeded my cabin baggage weight allowance.

TLT x

 

Seeing beyond the graffiti and (literally) looking beneath the city’s surface for hidden Roman beauty

It was at this point my puerile humour kicked in and I couldn't help but notice how some of the statues looked remarkably like certain modern day celebrities. Here's Hollywood actress Glenn Close ...

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