The Marineria di Cesenatico Nativity returns every year to Leonardo’s Port-Canal, speaking volumes about the small Adriatic town’s life with a poetic, traditional representation of Jesus’s birth.
The storytelling is imbued with the lightness of the statues that make up this wonderful, floating show: a lightness that is both creative choice and technical requirement, because boats would not be able to hold too much weight over the water.
The nativity was first held for Christmas in 1986 by will of local tourism operators and artists tied to the Romagna town – prominently including painter, set designer and craftsman Tinin Mantegazza, who was born in Liguria, lives in Milan and is a honorary citizen of Cesenatico. Since then, the floating nativity has been set up on boats made available by the local Museo della Marineria, with some fifty statues in wood, canvas and wax.
Here are some images of its beautiful, touching lightness.