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The artworks from the Campania region of Italy, including some by artist Paolo Fattore, will be on display in San Pedro under special arrangements made by Funiciello and her husband, who also offered to pay for the additional insurance on the pieces. The Italian consulate and the chamber of commerce also helped sponsor the visit. “I’m so proud to have them in San Pedro,” said Funiciello, who declined to say how much the traveling exhibit is costing. “I don’t care how much it costs. I wanted them in San Pedro.” firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Carmela Funiciello still recalls the Christmas celebrations of her youth in Italy. “In Italy, the religious part of Christmas is very important, not the shopping,” said Funiciello, who came to the United States in 1971 when she was 20 years old. “The Nativity scene was an important part of every Christmas, with the father, the mother and the children preparing the scene together on the dining table. “In Italy, every church has a Nativity scene. It was part of our growing up.” Wanting to share the tradition with fellow parishioners in San Pedro, Funiciello has arranged to bring several of the ornate statues to Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in a special display from noon to 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ“We’re such a multicultural community that all of these things tell a story,” said John Fer, ministry director at Mary Star, where there are still weekly Italian, Filipino, Spanish and Croatian Masses. The main focus of Christmas decorations in Italy is the “Presepe,” or Nativity scene or creche. The tradition is said to have originated with St. Francis of Assisi in 1223. In Naples, hundreds of the scenes are erected throughout the city during December. The terra cotta figures, standing 1 to 2 feet tall and reminiscent of the 17th and 18th century Neapolitan styles, feature hand-sewn clothing of silk, lace and other precious fabrics. Masters of the art form begin at a young age and the tradition has been passed down for generations through only a few families.