The Christmas Tradition of the Underwater Crib in Laveno

Underwater Nativity in Laveno Mombello: a unique Christmas enriched by art, tradition and history. Wondrous statues submerged in Lake Maggiore welcome visitors.
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The underwater nativity scene in Laveno Mombello, in the province of Varese, is located at the bottom of the town shores of Lake Maggiore in Laveno Mombello. This nativity scene is one of the major Christmas events on Lake Maggiore and has become a landmark symbol of Christmas for all the citizens of the area and also for the many tourists who visit each year. The statues, illuminated and immersed on the bottom of the waters of Lake Maggiore, re-enact the Nativity in a totally original and unique reality. Elements such as art, religion, history, landscape, tradition and culture come together to give a totally immersive experience.

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Gli Amici del Presepe Sommerso
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Piazza Caduti del Lavoro
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Free Event
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History of the Underwater Crib of Laveno Mombello

The history of the underwater nativity scene in Laveno Mombello, on Lake Maggiore, begins in Castelveccana, at Granelli, in the vicinity of Sasso Galletto, in 1975. The origins of this crib derive from Ovidio Garolla, a diver from Laveno and president of the Sub Club of Lugano.

The Club placed a forty-centimeter-high statue, the ''Christ of the Abyss'' , inside a natural cave carved into the rock, below the level of the lake. In 1976, parish priest Giordano Ronchi blessed the statue, which was brought to the surface.

The year to remember for the ''Underwater Nativity of Laveno Mombello'' is 1979: the date when some divers set up a real nativity scene at the bottom of the lake waters near ''Piazza Caduti del Lavoro'' in Laveno Mombello. The event was thus accessible to everyone.

The first three statues (The Madonna, St. Joseph, and Baby Jesus), carved life-size in white Vicenza stone, are the work of Vicenza artist Gianfranco Tancredi, sometimes known as Gaingranco from Brendola, which is the locality from which he comes.

There are currently a total of forty-two life-size statues. The addition of the latest statues comes from the valuable donation of private citizens and various organizations.

The sunken nativity scene is now a prestigious Christmas tradition in Laveno Mombello that is celebrated with passion every year.

The program of the Submerged Nativity in Laveno Mombello

The program of the Laveno Mombello submerged nativity scene takes the form of a visit to the town center of Laveno Mombello where near ''Piazza Caduti del Lavoro,'' at the bottom of the town shore of the lake, the Christmas and religious event of the nativity scene is located.

The whole thing takes place under the open sky and there is no payment to enjoy this wonderful experience that takes place during the month of December each year. The entire composition is always open to the public and is illuminated through a specific technical system so that the magical reality can be observed even during the night.

The luminous inscription ''gloria et pax'' will welcome you above the lake surface. Once you arrive near the crib, you can breathe in the Christmas atmosphere and take photographs to remember all the details of the display. In addition, you can purchase the official book dedicated specifically to the nativity scene to explore the topics in more detail.

Where to park for the Underwater Nativity in Laveno Mombello

There is only one recommended parking lot for the Living Nativity in Laveno Mombello

Parcheggio Località Gaggetto

Questo parcheggio e' consigliato per la grande disponibilità di posti, e perché consente una piacevole passeggiata sino al Presepe della durata di circa 5 minuti.

How to Get to the Underwater Crib in Laveno Mombello

Laveno Mombello is a town on Lake Maggiore in the province of Varese. At Christmas time, the municipality hosts the laying of the submerged nativity scene in the waters of the lake near Piazza Caduti del Lavoro, 21014.

Reaching the locality of Laveno Mombello and visiting the sunken nativity scene is conveniently possible either by car or through public transportation services such as train, bus and ferry.

  • - By Car: arriving in Laveno Mombello from the Lakes Highway, it is recommended to park in the locality of Gaggetto or in the various parking areas in Laveno Mombello for example the parking lot located in Piazza Vittorio Veneto,8, 21014 and then drive along the lakefront "A. Volta" to Piazza Caduti del Lavoro.
  • - By Train: with FerrovieNord stop at Laveno Mombello.
  • - By Bus: line No. 18 Autolinee Varesine with stop at Laveno Mombello Nord station
  • - By Treghetto: via the Navigazione Laghi service.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the "Underwater Nativity of Laveno Mombello?"
The ''sunken nativity scene'' in Laveno Mombello is one of the largest Christmas displays on Lake Maggiore.
Where does the event "Laveno Mombello's Underwater Crib" take place?
The Laveno Mombello ''submerged nativity scene'' event takes place in Laveno Mombello (VA) Italy in the waters of Lake Maggiore near Piazza Caduti del Lavoro, 21014.
When does the "Laveno Mombello Underwater Nativity" event take place?
The ''sunken nativity'' event in Laveno Mombello takes place every year from early December to Epiphany.

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