Nativity displays or presepi are an important part of the Christmas to Epiphany season in Italy. Perhaps one of the most unusual is the Jesolo Sand Nativity. Each year since 2001, 1500 tons of sand is painstakingly sculpted into extraordinary works of art by the best sand sculptors in the world. Visitors come from around the world to admire scenes of everyday life and all the traditional activities that are typical of a traditional nativity set.
In addition to the classic characters of the nativity, each year has a work dedicated to the world’s peacemakers. Works representing Pope John Paul II, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Pope John XXIII have been exhibited during the past editions. In 2010, the work was dedicated to Nelson Mandela, South African President and protagonist of the fight against apartheid. This year’s peacemaker sculpture is dedicated to Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouts.