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One of the fascinating phenomenons of larger cities is the appearance and robust survival of commodity/product-specific nodes or districts. A truly engaging one is to be found in central Naples, Italy—San Gregorio Armeno—where a network of ancient streets with dozens of small shops sell nothing but hand-crafted angels, crèches, and figures to create personalized Christmas scenes.

The angels range from the size of small birds up to a foot across. They have exquisite features and delicious pastel coloured robes. Prices are not cheap, and range from $60 to $300 or more.

More earthly creatures are available to create individual scenes in amazing crèches. Obviously shoppers can go all out—or buy just a few characters and add to the Church’s crèche over the years. Many of the characters represent the various trades and occupations of both past and present people (one very up-to-date figure of a naked Prince Henry).

What is interesting is how this district was formed—obviously no central real estate developer or BIA/BID—and also how each shops tends to create its own unique appeal, displays, and products.

Look closely at these truly awesome offerings!

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