2020-2021 edition [32nd year]

archive of past editions

themes, photos and curiosities of past editions

The Nativity in the Well

the original underground crib of the Pozzo della Cava with life-size animated characters

Nativity in the Well


Due to the Covid-19 emergency, the 32nd edition of the Nativity in the Well has been postponed to Christmas 2021.

Its title will be "THE SON OF THE FATHER", which in Aramaic is "Bar-abbâ"; the narrating voice will in fact be that of Barabbas, the "rival" of Jesus in the cruel ballot proposed by Pilate


From December 23, 2021 to January 9, 2022

The fascinating setting

The idea is a simple one: to recreate the environment and the atmospheres of Palestine in the year zero with life-size animated characters. And we do this in the big Etruscan cave at the end of the underground archaeological itinerary of Pozzo della Cava, in the Medieval Quarter of Orvieto.

Historical research

Every year costumes, furnishings and elements of scenery are made as closely as possible to the originals in the time of Christ, and every year it’s a new challenge, with a new layout and a new leitmotif, with a careful eye for the visitor of the Christmas Crib, who is physically inside the crib.

The characters

The realistic characters of this unusual under-ground Crib are life-size self-moving figures, made with the materials and techniques of special effects employed in the theatres and movies.

The movements

And then we add to our characters the movements, with hidden low-tension mechanisms. From the 2013-2014 edition, in addition to the mechanical characters, some animatroni have been inserted on the scene, whose motors are driven by special integrated microprocessors, to increase the naturalness of the movements. Furthermore, the lights and other “special effects” such as fires, burning embers, smoke or boiling milk contribute to increasing the realism of the nativity scene, alternating and renewing in every setting.