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Il Presepio di Mosaico

The Crib Made of Mosaic

In December and January a crib, unique in the world, comes to life in the Cathedral Square in Spilimbergo, in the north east of Italy. Consisting of life-size figures covered on both sides with the splendor of golden and coloured glass mosaic glazes, each year it expands with new figures-this year there will be 45!

New Video 2023

Sunday 17th november 2024 at 16.00

The crib will be open to visitors
From November 17th 2024 to February 9th 2025

Come and discover this year's new figures!

Guided tours with the artist every public holiday at 3 p.m.

Mosaic Nativity at the Vatican

The work displayed in the Pope's audience hall at the Vatican, the Paul VI Hall, is made in Spilimbergo in Friuli Venezia Giulia in 2023.

The diocese of Rieti in 2023 through Fondaco Italia commissioned mosaic artist Alessandro Serena, also the creator of the Spilimbergo mosaic nativity scene, and asked him to create a sketch, which the Vatican governorate enthusiastically approved. It took the artist months of work to apply more than 32,000 Venetian enamel tiles of opaque, transparent and gold colored glass, and the work about 2 meters tall and more than 3 meters wide was installed in the Vatican hall to accompany Pope Francis during all the audiences of the Christmas season.

The scene depicted consists of the Holy Family, with Joseph flanking Mary intent on holding up the raised baby Jesus, and St. Clare and St. Francis praying, precisely because 800 years ago it was St. Francis who invented the first nativity scene in Greccio, in the Rieti valley.

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The Crib

The project IL PRESEPIO DI MOSAICO has been developed by the Fondazione Cultura Imago Musiva, which every year adds new figures thanks to the help of public and private benefactors, to the cooperation of numerous enterprises, and involving in the mosaic making process both established craftsmen and young mosaicists.

An artistic will is to realize numerous figures studied in thematic groups, to be seen front and back and whose sketches have already been designed by Alessandro Serena, defined with coherent matching to suggest realistic tridimensional shapes.
It also establishes the use of transparent colored glazes on opaque surfaces and transparent materials, to suggestively engage light with its refractions and unexpected reflections.

The robes, the faces and the richness of colours that recall the Renaissance ways of art, also aim to a timeless classicism. The extraordinary mosaic technique and expressiveness shows the essence of sacredness. It elevates the mind and spirit, and suggests beauty, which is God’s language and the maximum aspiration of men.

This crib renews a historical cultural identity, and realizes a wonderful scenography to offer everyone peace and happiness, and to warm every heart with enchantment and poetry.

The crib consists of the Holy Family group (made in 2019), the three Archangels (2020), the three Theological Virtues (2021), the Peoples of the Earth (2021), the Angel Musicians (2022), the Prophets of Christmas (2022), the four Evangelists (2022), the Shepherds and Sheep (2023), and St. Francis (2023).

il PresepioDownload leaflet Download poster

The mosaic nativity scene in Aquileia

Video 2022

Video inauguration 2022

Video 2021

Video from dawn to dusk 2020

Video 2019-2020

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You can support the project with a free donation or 5x1000

Your 5×1000 for the projects of Fondazione Cultura Imago Musiva ets

Funds raised from the 5×1000 will be directed to support activities for the protection and enhancement of cultural heritage and landscape, the organization of cultural, artistic or recreational activities of social interest, including activities, including publishing, promotion and dissemination of the culture and practice of volunteerism, organization and management of tourist activities of social and cultural interest.

Donate 5×1000 to the Fondazione Cultura Imago Musiva ets: just indicate the tax code 91099900937 in your tax declaration.

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Thanks to

Exhibition authorized by the Soprintendenza archeologia, belle arti e paesaggio del Friuli Venezia Giulia, and sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Culture.

Development, implementation and promotion of the project IL PRESEPIO DI MOSAICO by the Fondazione Cultura Imago Musiva.

Project conceived and coordinated by Michelangelo Serena.

Direction, sketches and artwork by Alessandro Serena.

Executions of mosaics by:
Alessandro Serena, Michelangelo Serena, Cristina Cancian, Gianpietro Bisaro, Alice Pecile, Linda Vincentelli, Travisanutto Mosaici, Valeria Manzo, Andrea Giulia Paliaga, Mosaici Moruzzi, Sandro Cassan, Ivana Monasso, Kseniya Khalyavko, Rino Pastorutti, Isabella Petrangeli, Marzia Canzian, Chiara Platolino, Gabriele La Sala, Clementina Manzo, Mosaico 3M, Simona Di Maio, Denise Toson, Yuyu Ge, Marta Matyla, Malgorzata Matyla, Chiara Lovo, Beatrice Tagliapietra, Viviana Mora Strohmenger, Nocola Chiavotto, Silvia Biancolino, Friul Mosaic, William Bertoia, Elenalucia Maggioletti, Umberto Pepe, Giulia Zanette, Alessia Mandarano, Pauline Debuchy, Ester Sut, Sofia Montanaro, Francesca Cafarelli, Debora Franco, Arianna Fastro, Lee Jihyeon, Alessia Filippi.

Michelangelo Serena, Giovanni De Mezzo, Chiara Tavella, Davide Cancian, Luca Pellegrini, Giovanna Raengo Czander, Cristina Fontanin, Francesco, Laura, Luisa, Paola e Alessandra Raengo, Rosangela Serena, Francesca Tavella, Luca L., Luciana Concina, Alessandra Sech, Alessandra Peres, Marta Amistani, Angela Maria Vallegiani, Rosellina Cassin, Armando Zecchinon, Ubaldo Giacomello, Marilena Sovran, Fernanda Cappello, Carlotta Leporati, Carla Brovedani, Moira M., Guido e Francesca Poli di Spilimbergo, Gaetano Vinciguerra, Luca Zomero, Alessio Rossi, Luca Carlucci, Andrea Della Rosa, Fabrizio Travisanutto, famiglia Luigi Serena, Duilio e Livia Sina, Robert Trento, Irene Pellegrini, Jacopo Sedran, Roberto Sedran, Marco Dreosto, famiglia Pilloni Schoenborn, Marco Campardo, Osvaldo Cossutta, Carla Mansutti e Paolo Tolusso, famiglia Eugenio Martin, Giorgio Caregnato, Cristina Tulissi, Francesca T., Gianpiero De Stefano, Nives Rizzotti, Flaviano Ermacora, Graziella Paschini, famiglia Adriano Bearzatto, Nives Collaviti, famiglia Fernando Bortolussi.

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The 'Mosaic, Sacred Art and Literature' Conference

On 27 May 2022, the cultural Fondazione Imago Musiva organised the conference 'Mosaic, Sacred Art and Literature' in Spilimbergo for the 100th anniversary of the Friuli Mosaic School.

All the important speeches have been collected in the publication published with the Libreria Al Segno in Pordenone, also selecting photographs of great mosaic works created by the most important workshops in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region over the last 30 years, and what we have seen is truly fascinating.

The aim was to propose a broad thematic reflection to recover and renew the dialogue between mosaics and the Christian religion. A relationship that was happy and effective once upon a time and is still struggling to find success in the contemporary world. And it does not seem to be just a matter of cost. The cultural density and the preciousness of the aesthetic offer that that patient, meditated, intelligent mosaic work of man can bestow in a lasting way, are extraordinarily suited to the encounter with the Sacred. If it is poetry, beauty, and art that help us overcome the existential physical datum, then mosaic is the principal mediator in Sacred Art.

Book available on request by e-mail to