Almost every church in Italy has a crèche scene. I enjoyed seeing this one in a small church,
Chiesa di Sant’Andrea, in Orvieto. Located on the Piazza della Repubblica, it dates to the 12th century and is noted for its distinctive decagonal bell tower.
The nativity scene, which is called a crèche in French or presepio in Italian, is a representation of the birth of Christ, which originates from late ancient and medieval traditions; the custom, initially Italian, of setting up the nativity scenes during the Christmas period is widespread today in all Catholic countries of the world.
I’ve seen a lot of crèche scenes, but this is the first one I’ve noticed with a field of sand. It makes sense.