Last year bad weather stopped at the last moment the annual Presepe Vivente from taking place. It would seem that the forced layoff for the participants has brought a new energy to the event. Tonight was breathtaking in places as the large crowd was led through some of the narrow streets and passages in Barga Vecchia that only the hardiest tourist ever ventures down.
This evening they were rewarded by scenes inside cantinas and cellars specially opened up for the occasion and decked out to show how life was in the not so distant past. Of course as this was the Presepe Vivente, there was also that wonderful mix of images from the near past and the far past … Roman centurions mixing quite happily with turn of the century farm workers and biblical figures moving through school rooms from the 1930’s. Mediaeval soldiers rubbing shoulders with woman dressed in clothes from 100 years ago and so it goes on – a mix and match of cultures, times and styles. Some of the juxtapositions were bordering on the just plain bizarre but nobody seemed to mind or worry about historical fact.