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Friday, December 11, 2009

An Extravagant Presepe At Spazio Luparia

Giuseppe Loda made his first terracotta house when he was 8 years old. He baked it in his grandfather Paolo's kiln. Now, Loda creates nativity scenes of truly spectacular size. His latest work is over 12 meters in length, 4 meters in depth, and features over 100 statues. It is on display in Stresa in Spazio Luparia, an always fascinating little gallery located on Via Bolongaro, just off of the new Piazza Pozzi.

Loda spends an entire year working on each of the enormous presepi. He creates each piece, no matter how minute, by hand and by himself. Loda explains, "I construct all myself, the houses, the vegetation. See those houses in the Arabic style on the hill? I constructed them and also the palms. It is meant to be a homage to the immigrants of the Muslim faith. The lights that shine through the windows of those houses are the types used in their religion." There is also a homage to Stresa in this presepe; don't miss the reproduction of the little train which ran at one time to the summit of Mt. Mottarone.

As Loda learned the art of ceramics and nativity building from his 'nonno Paolo', he is hoping that the passion will again skip a generation and be picked up by his grandson, Eduardo. "To my own two sons I didn't succeed to pass it on," he says. Let's hope that six-year-old Eduardo shows an interest, as talent such as this would be a shame to lose.

Spazio Lupario will be open to view Giuseppe Loda's hand-crafted and animated precepe
on December 20, 25, 26, and 27, 2009, and in January 2010 on the 2, 3, 6, 9,
and 10. Yes, it is open on Christams Day, making it the perfect
place to warm up temporarily during that after-Christmas-lunch
stroll.



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