Il Natale di Francesco is the project that brings Giotto’s frescoes outside the Basilica of St Francis and throughout Assisi

During the festive season, tradition and innovation meet in Assisi, where Mario Cucinella’s lighting design project, powered by Enel X, illuminates the whole city. The initiative, titled Il Natale di Francesco (The Christmas of Francis), brings Giotto’s Nativity frescoes onto the façade of the Basilica of St Francis, the saint who started the tradition of the Nativity scene in Greccio, near Rieti, 800 years ago, while other images are projected on the Cathedral of St Rufinus, the Basilica of St Clare, the tower of the city hall. Moreover, the streets leading to the sacred and civic places involved in the project are linked by a path of luminous stars projected on the pavement, inspired by the stars painted on the vaults of the Lower Basilica of St Francis.

st francis

View of the Basilica of St Francis, Assisi

Every 15 minutes, the images of Giotto’s Nativity are replaced by the video projection showing the interior of the Monumental Complex and its 10,000 square meters of frescoes. This is La basilica di vetro, (The Glass Basilica), a work of computer graphics that makes it possible to admire the interior of the Basilica even when it is closed to the public. And, thanks to, the whole project can be admired from any part of the world until January 6th. Furthermore, like a modern Bethlehem, the city of Assisi is hosting a scattered Nativity scene including, among the other figurines, 50 shepherds and a life-size statue representing a nurse, as a tribute to all the people who have been working so hard during the health emergency.