JSN 2023

Jesolo Sand Nativity 2023 "In the footsteps of Francis of Assisi"

The 21st edition of Jesolo Sand Nativity, the Sand Nativity scene that enchanted Pope Francis, will be visited in the tensile structure set up in Piazza Brescia from Sunday 3 December 2023 until Sunday 4 February 2024.

This extraordinary new edition of Jesolo Sand Nativity has the title "In the footsteps of Francis of Assisi", a journey that tells the life of the Saint of Assisi through 12 key episodes precisely 800 years after the creation by the "poor man of Assisi" of the first nativity scene in history in Greccio. These moments will be represented by 14 artists from all over the world, professional sculptors coordinated by the new artistic director of the event, the Canadian David Ducharme, and thanks to the precious collaboration of the Sacred Convent of San Francesco in Assisi.
Thanks to the collaboration with the Sacred Convent of San Francesco, Friday 8 December the Sand Nativity created at the Basilica of Assisi will be inaugurated. A highly prestigious event to celebrate Holy Christmas in a sacred place of extraordinary beauty and inspiration.

The new Jesolo Sand Nativity began to take shape on Monday 6 November when the expert sand artists began their work of sculpting by removal which will continue until Sunday 19 November.
This year too, as has happened since 2004, the event is associated with various beneficial projects. The generosity of the visitors allows us to collect resources every year which are donated to associations with humanitarian purposes. To date, more than 900 thousand euros have been collected and donated to humanitarian projects around the world.

The artists and the titles of the works of Jesolo Sand Nativity 2023:

  • David Ducharme (Canada): artistic director
  • Preaching to the Birds: Hanneke Supply (Belgium)
  • Kissing the leper: Pedro Mira (Portugal)
  • The prayer to the crucifix: Jakub Zimacek “Kuba Libre” (Czech Republic)
  • The Rule: Baldrick Richard Buckle (Netherlands)
  • The renunciation of assets: Ilya Filimontsev (Russia)
  • Francis to the Sultan: Dmitrii Klimenko (Russia)
  • Francis plays the viola: Michela Ciappini (Italy)
  • Francis and the wolf: Susanne Ruseler (Netherlands)
  • The stigmata: David Enguerrand (Belgium)
  • The angels play for him: Helena Bangert (Netherlands)
  • Chiara and the sisters: Marielle Heessels (Netherlands)
  • Nativity: Radovan Zivny (Czech Republic), Vadim Gryadov (Russia), Slava Borecki (Ukraine)

The Scream
The exhibition is embellished with an imposing wooden sculpture, work of the artist Marco Martalar, located in the external area of Jesolo Sand Nativity.
The work, entitled The Scream and created in 2021, embodies the cry of the woods battered by the gusts of wind from the Vaia storm that hit the Asiago Plateau (Veneto region) in 2018.
The sculpture, made with spruce forest waste and beech scraps, represents a hand reaching upwards in an attempt to personify the value of the materials that compose it, already naturally inclined to regain new forms and continue the natural cycle of existence.


From 3 December 2023 to 4 February 2024
From Monday to Friday 9.30am-12.30pm and 2.30pm-7.30pm
Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays open all day from 9.30am to 7.30pm
From 23 December to 7 January open all day from 9.30am to 7.30pm

Free admission (without reservation).

From Monday to Friday (excluding the period from 23 December to 7 January), upon booking at the Tourist Information Office, e-mail: office@jesolo.it
Cost €30, maximum 30 people.
Duration 20 minutes.

No architectural barriers.
Small pets are allowed inside the exhibition and must be kept on a leash and held in the arms.

Bookshop and external toilets near the exit accessible to all.

Some technical data:
- 750 square meters of exhibition area
- 1,000 cubic meters (about 1,500 tons) of sand used
– Sculptors at work from 6 to 19 November 2023
– Since the first edition, over 1 million and 600 thousand visitors have visited Jesolo Sand Nativity.

The location of the Sand Nativity

Locandina Jesolo Sand Nativity 2023
The poster of Jesolo Sand Nativity 2023
La tensostruttura che ospita Jesolo Sand Nativity con la scultura lignea "Il Grido"
The tensile structure that hosts the Jesolo Sand Nativity with the wooden sculpture "The Scream"