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LUCE DI NATALE DI ASCOLI PICENO – The Christmas Lights of Ascoli Piceno 2019

LUCE DI NATALE DI ASCOLI PICENO – The Christmas Lights of Ascoli Piceno 2019

By on Jan 11, 2020 in Blog | 12 comments


It appears since pre-historic times, once our human species concentrated themselves into groups for mutual support, rituals evolved as a means to build a sense of common community. Across widely diverse cultural differences, attentiveness to the rhythms of nature has given a special significance to the astronomical observation of the Winter Solstice. Solstice rituals have brought people together for millennia to express jubilation that the long night of winter had begun the slow, but anxiously anticipated assent out of darkness.

The coincidence of the timing of the observance of spiritually significant events and the astronomic timing of the Winter Solstice seems apparent. The significance of the coincidence in the timing of the celebration of the Christmas festival established by the early Roman Christian Church and the already established Roman Pagan Solstice festival of the Saturnalia, remains a matter of debate in some theological circles. That is an esoteric issue which we will, happily, bypass.

Our 7th Festival of Christmas in Ascoli has just concluded. Ascoli adheres to the Italian custom of not ‘officially’ initiating the Christmas celebrations until December 8th with the Roman Catholic Church observance of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The official end of the Christmas celebration is on the twelfth day of Christmas coinciding with the observance of Epiphany, relating to the New Testament description of the arrival of the Three Wise Men bringing gifts to the Christ child.

On a very chilly, late Epiphany eve, we went out to take a last look at the Christmas lights in the historic center of Ascoli Piceno. Immediately after Epiphany, crews will be out promptly, taking the lights down. We went with a camera on our walk to record some of this ending Christmas season’s lights and thought we might share a few of the photos with you.

The photo above is of the Piazza Del Popolo looking south from the Church of Saint Francis at the north end of the Piazza.  The Piazza Del Popolo is a Renaissance jewel paved in Travertine stone polished by passersby over the centuries.



The Palazzo die Capitani on the Piazza Del Popolo framed in an archway


The Palazzo dei Capitani on the Piazza Del Popolo from the south end of the Piazza.


A ‘still-life’ of items waiting in a passageway just off the Piazza for warmer weather.


Illuminated presents in the Cloister of the Church of Saint Francis


Illuminated present in the Cloister.


Illuminated sphere in the Cloister.


Under the illuminated arches of an Ascoli pedestrian thoroughfare.


A festive street just off the Piazza Del Popolo.





  1. Stunning photos, Larry! So happy you have chronicled the winter beauty of Ascoli! We especially appreciate this glimpse of La Luce di Natale you’ve captured so beautifully since we sadly had to miss Natale this year! Grazie caro amico!

    • Thank you special friends of ours. We are eagerly awaiting your return to Ascoli.

  2. I’m so grateful that I got to visit you there. Having seen the beautiful town first hand adds to the pleasure of your photographs. Happy New Year!

    • Thank you Deborah. We look forward to your return visit.

  3. Beautiful photos, Larry! Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you kind expat neighbor. Ascoli is a place that easily inspires photography.

  4. So lovely. One year I was there for the lighting of the Christmas Tree; that was special. Thanks for the visual stimulation of memories!

    • Kind of you to comment Marilyn. We are looking forward to seeing you here in Ascoli.

  5. As always…Larry, your photos are a beautiful reminder of what life is like in Ascoli. The images give an impression of peacefulness and reverence for the holiday. The contrast between an ancient time is juxtaposed in a modern era…using a contrast of cool and warm colors. Impressive!

    • Your always generous comments are appreciated, first, coming from a very close friend of ours, and, also coming from a very accomplished artist herself. Thanks!

  6. Beautiful. Thanks for giving us a small view of your life in Italy.

    • Hi Cheryl- Thank you for your interest in the direction our lives have taken since we were last coworkers.

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