The territory of Custonaci (Trapani) is characterized by the presence of quarries for the extraction of marble, which have given rise to an ancient tradition as an important marble basin.

The area is in fact affected by the karst phenomenon, which has given rise to numerous caves, among these, the best known is the Grotta Mangiapane. The Grotta Mangiapane is a rarity with a very high and deep opening whose walls are lined with small houses, stables and a bread oven, all built by a family of shepherds between the 1800s and the first half of the 1900s.

This context hosts a living nativity scene every year, which stages the ancient crafts of the area. The re-enactment is a sort of museographic operation that makes all the participants relive the past of the territory and the productive activities connected to it together with the recovery of a series of skills that are organic to a rapidly changing social fabric.

The living nativity scene involves the whole community in recovering the intangible heritage of knowledge and skills associated with the various trades. About 150 actors, belonging to the local community, but also to the whole of Sicily, participate in the representation by playing the roles of artisans, peasant workers, local extras and extras; moreover, every corner of the village is populated by donkeys, goats, geese, cows, horses and various animals.

Presepe Vivente | Custonaci
REI - Libro delle espressioni - Presepe Vivente di Custonaci